A landmark $2.5M federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education has been awarded to Clifford Beers Community Care Center in partnership with New Haven Public Schools and fourteen community organizations to form the Grand Avenue Learning Corridor Partnership.

Over five years, the Full-Service Community Schools model will be implemented at Fair Haven School and Family Academy of Multilingual Exploration (FAME). Community schools build on existing networks and resources in order to nurture enhanced systems, programs, and services that support the long-term success of students and their families.

Connect with us to learn more and get involved with the Partnership at [email protected]



With U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona

Video and Photos by Chike Photography

On January 29, 2024, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona joined federal, state, and local officials at the launch of a Full-Service Community Schools initiative at two Fair Haven schools.

Full-service community schools include four pillars:

1) integrated student supports;
2) expanded and enriched learning time and opportunities;
3) active family and community engagement; and
4) collaborative leadership and practices.

The Grand Avenue Learning Corridor Partnership will collaborate to provide a continuum of coordinated support services that meet the academic, social, emotional, and health needs of children and families.

The partnership convenes key organizations serving the Fair Haven neighborhood, including ARTE, Junta for Progressive Action, Catholic Charities of Centro San Jose, the New Haven Free Public Library, Fair Haven Community Health Care, New Haven Federation of Teachers, New Haven Reads, United Way of Greater New Haven, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, City of New Haven Youth and Recreation Department, City of New Haven Elderly Services Department, Dwight Hall at Yale, the City Wide Youth Coalition, and the CT Violence Intervention Program.

The work of these partners will focus on:

1) activating schools beyond the school day as youth and family resource spaces;
2) bringing expanded arts, sports, cultural, and other enrichment activities into schools, during and beyond the school day;
3) infusing schools with additional academic interventions and supports; and
4) providing family support services and leadership development opportunities.

A full-time Community School Coordinator and Family Support Care Coordinator at each school will facilitate improved communication and access to this continuum of programs and services.

This Partnership builds upon Clifford Beers’ longstanding, multi-faceted collaboration with the New Haven Public Schools, City of New Haven, and community-based organizations. It also draws from the legacy of the Farnam Community Center, now Clifford Beers’ nursery school and recreation division, in service to Fair Haven youth and families. Clifford Beers currently provides embedded care coordination and clinical services for 24 New Haven Public Schools, as well as Hamden Middle and High Schools, through other state and federally-funded programs.

Following a planning phase during the first half of 2024, the Grand Avenue Learning Corridor Partnership will begin implementation at Fair Haven School in August 2024 and expand to FAME in August 2025.





Hear From Our Partners

“This Community Schools Grant aligns with NHFT’s goal to protect and transform public schools. FAME and Fair Haven School have the potential to be real neighborhood hubs where we unite educators, community organizations, parents and caregivers to work together. There is a reason that the expansion of Community Schools is one of the key pillars of our Real Solutions Campaign at AFT. This is the path forward for our students and our schools – when we prioritize before and after school programs, wraparound services and mental health supports, partnerships and collaboration, we promote stable and healthy neighborhoods and schools where communities and families thrive.” — Leslie Blatteau, President, New Haven Federation of Teachers

“The Fair Haven Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library is excited to be a partner of the Grand Avenue Learning Corridor initiative. This collaborative enrichment approach builds a stronger partnership network and increases community engagement, contributing to the overall educational success of youth and families in the Fair Haven community. NHFPL looks forward to the opportunity to serve as a supportive space for learning with access to diverse resources, and a hub for educational activities.” — Maria Bernhey, City Librarian and Director, New Haven Free Public Library

“New Haven Reads is thrilled to be part of this important effort in support of the Grand Avenue Learning Corridor Partnership. The power of a group of talented and passionate community members and organizations in conjunction with dedicated school personnel is formidable and boundless. We look forward to contributing to the long-term student success that this community work will bring.” — Kirsten Levinsohn, Executive Director, New Haven Reads

“United Way of Greater New Haven is excited for the opportunity of working together with partners across the city to create hubs of connection through the launch of this Community Schools project. We know it takes the whole family, and the whole community, for a student to reach their full capacity and we are ready to activate our networks in support.” — Aly Fox, Vice President Community & Belonging, United Way of Greater New Haven

“ARTE Inc. has a twenty-year history of providing youth educational and enrichment programs, including awarding $116,600 in scholarships. Programs are free and open to everyone and we look forward to strengthening partnerships and program offerings in the Fair Haven community.” — Dave Greco, Director, ARTE Inc.

“Our mission statement is: Providing help and creating hope for people of all faiths. I believe that by joining forces within the community we can make a difference and provide the tools necessary to be successful.” — Sylvia Velez, Early Childhood Program Director, Centro San Jose

“Dwight Hall at Yale is excited to be part of this vital community partnership. The ability to co-create and coordinate programming with shared vision from strong partner organizations and neighborhood stakeholders will result in tremendous opportunities for youth and families. We are humbled to be part of this collaborative effort, which will inspire our Yale student volunteers and fellows to meaningfully engage in service as leaders of social change. As Yale’s Center for Public Service and Social Justice, Dwight Hall also looks forward to connecting resources across the University, including the College, graduate and professional schools, institutes, and centers with the Grand Avenue Learning Corridor Partnership.” — Peter Crumlish, Executive Director and General Secretary, Dwight Hall at Yale, Center for Public Service and Social Justice

“Working with Fair Haven leadership is always a real treat— Fair Haven is a collaborative community, driven by a shared desire for quality outcomes. Through this program, our community will come together to provide the scaffolding necessary to ensure that our children are given the best chance possible for a solid education, an education not encumbered by issues of inadequate healthcare, poverty, violence or discrimination. We want our kids to learn—we, their community, will ensure that social challenges will be confronted and addressed, creating an environment conducive to high quality learning.” — Suzanne Lagarde, Chief Executive Officer, Fair Haven Community Health Care

“The Community Schools approach recognizes that supporting adults with the right tools is foundational to helping them welcome diverse students. Providing a sense of belonging to immigrant children means providing that sense to their families first, so it doesn’t feel to kids like the price of learning English and navigating U.S. schools is leaving behind your home culture and languages.” — Debra Riding, Education Director, Immigrant Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS)

“At JUNTA for Progressive Action, ‘Community Schools’ is a heartfelt commitment to unity and support. It means creating a space where our community actively participates in the educational journey, fostering a sense of belonging. This initiative is not just a strategy; it’s a compassionate response to our community’s unique needs, ensuring everyone feels heard and supported. This represents our commitment to creating a supportive environment where education goes beyond the classroom, fostering growth and opportunities while embracing the community’s culture.” — Cheila Serrano, Director of Operations, JUNTA for Progressive Action

Recent Press

January 31, 2024 Yale Daily News: Education Secretary highlights $2.5 million grant during New Haven visit

According to Miller’s press release, the programming will offer school spaces for the community after the school day, bring additional extracurricular activities during and after the school day, provide families with leadership development opportunities and enhance academic support for students.

January 29, 2024 WTNH News 8: U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona returns to New Haven to announce federal grant

The announcement showcased two of those students, sixth grader Joshua Santiago, and seventh grader Melinda Martinez, as the emcees of the event. They welcomed everyone in both English and Spanish. U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-District 3) helped fight for the funding and pointed to the strengths of the students in these schools.

January 29, 2024 NBC-CT: Federal grant will expand New Haven’s community schooling program

The grant money will provide nutrition assistance, add hours and staff to after-school educational programs and tutoring, help with family engagement, and, in turn, help boost attendance rates at Fair Haven School. 

January 29, 2024 Fox61: New federal grant to expand educational opportunities for students in New Haven

According to the mayor’s office, the first half of 2024 will be used for planning the usage. Implementation is expected to begin at the Fair Haven School in August of 2024 and at FAME in August of 2025.

January 29, 2024 New Haven Register: $2.5M grant for New Haven ‘community schools’ is ‘all about students,’ U.S. education secretary says 

Junielys Morales and Kelyaniss Rosario, students at Fair Haven School, were among those on hand Monday morning to learn about and celebrate the initiative to establish the Grand Avenue Learning Corridor Partnership.

January 29, 2024 CT Public Radio: US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona touts $2.5 million for CT community schooling initiative 

The funds will help address a national mental health crisis among young children, Cardona said. The initiative will also consult with parents, according to New Haven Public Schools Superintendent Madeline Negron.

January 29, 2024 New Haven Independent: Work Begins On Creating Next-Gen ​“Community Schools” 

 The five-year grant will go to the mental health-focused Clifford Beers Community Care Center to work with the public school district and 14 non-profit and government agencies to turn Fair Haven School and Family Academy of Multilingual Exploration (FAME) two blocks up Grand Avenue into community schools