The Partnership for Petersburg initiative was announced on August 22 at a convening of state, local, community, and faith leaders. Together, they created a partnership to give the Petersburg locality full ownership of this meaningful initiative with support from the Commonwealth to see it become one of the best cities to live, work, and raise a family.
As part of the Partnership for Petersburg launch, Governor Glenn Youngkin and Mayor Sam Parham joined a coalition of state, local, community, and faith leaders to sign a series of commitment statements outlining six pillars and more than 40 initiatives highlighted during the event.
One of the pillars of the initiative, “Our Commitment to Prepare Students for Life,” seeks to address the significant learning loss resulting from th COVID-19 pandemic (Petersburg students face an average of 23 weeks of learning loss in math and 21 weeks of learning loss in reading) and a chronic absenteeism rate that is 2.5% higher than the statewide average. The initiative prioritizes public-private collaboration between public education institutions and existing community partners, including Communities In Schools of Petersburg .
As a lead partner in the initiative, Communities In Schools of Petersburg, along with the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club, will expand offerings across all Petersburg schools to provide robust enrichment and academic programs before, during, and after school all year.
“Communities In Schools’ mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS has been a partner with Petersburg City Public Schools for 7 years, and it is our hope that through this initiative, we can double the number of students and families receiving targeted, individualized support. We are excited to expand the ways we are serving the Petersburg community,” said Wanda Stewart, President and CEO of Communities in Schools of Petersburg.