Authentic Collaboration for Improved Schools & Neighborhoods

Through this collaboration we are creating a safer neighborhood and school for the community as a whole. The children and parents have a sense of ownership towards the school and the community is working to address neighborhood blight. As more programs are being brought to the school, and we have a new school principal who cares about students, we’re seeing a difference in the form of more beautiful spaces cultivated by community members, healthier food options, and better student outcomes.” – NRN partner

In January 2013, a group of community partners providing services in North Richmond came to the table to discuss how the coordination of their services could create improved outcomes for children, youth, and families living in North Richmond. Faced with several challenges including high poverty rates, frequent episodes of violence, lack of safe spaces, and poor academic outcomes for students, partners began convening regular monthly meetings to identify goals and a coordinated response to some of these larger issues. They created a mission, vision statement and named themselves the North Richmond Network (NRN).

In fall 2013, the group moved its monthly meetings to Verde Elementary where members collectively identified core priorities that are currently organized around school, neighborhood, and network advocacy. Organized working groups address these issues by sharing data, creating common agendas, and coming up with collective responses in concert with school personnel, parents, and community members.

The NRN has attracted community members and partners alike and currently has 20-25 participants who attend monthly meetings. Operating under a Collective Impact model, YES serves as the backbone agency of the network. Additional partner agencies include Supervisor John Gioia’s Office, Richmond Police Department, Youth Service Bureau, Urban Tilth, Contra Costa Health Services, Contra Costa Library Services, West County Reads, Davis Chapel, Weigh of Life, West Contra Costa Unified School District, the City of Richmond, Verde Elementary administrators, teachers and parents, and North Richmond community members.

For more information about the North Richmond Network, please contact Eric Aaholm, Executive Director: eric@yesfamilies.org