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Presentations/Présentations : Strategies to Promote Rural School Sustainability

Source: RuralBC Secretariat and Local Government Department.
Particularly in rural areas, a school is a focal point in the community, serving children, youth and families, providing public space, offering programs, hosting events, building social connections, and providing a hub for many facets of community

Schools are key in developing community connections and pride in the accomplishments of community members. While a rural school can create social cohesion in a community, its closure can negatively impact that same community’s social fabric and sense of identity. In addition to the impact of losing the public space and social connections provided by the school, school closures present a signifi cant deterrent to families staying in the community or moving to it. School closures may aff ect property values, businesses, and community viability. So how can communities take action to help their schools remain sustainable? How can municipal governments and local community groups work together with their local schools and boards of education to make it possible for their schools to remain open?

The session will illustrate how, Neighbourhood Learning Centres and the co-location of community and local government services in schools can serve to unite a community; build relationships between schools, local governments, and service providers; and turn unused school space into vibrant community assets that enhance the sustainability of schools and communities, both urban and rural.

The session will present two success stories of communities that co-located services within schools and used partnerships and innovative approaches to keep schools in their communities. School district and local government representatives will share their stories of collaboration and partnerships, and speak about the resulting change in their communities.




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