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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, April 26, 2019

Hamilton launches Children’s Cabinet




Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Bryan Johnson and Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger have formed the community’s first Children’s Cabinet. The Children’s Cabinet brings together government agencies and child-serving community organizations to meet the needs of students in Hamilton County.

The cabinet is comprised of the leaders of county and city agencies who serve students and other key community organizations such as United Way of Greater Chattanooga.

“Too many of our children lack the support and opportunities they need to be successful in school and life,” says Mayor Coppinger. “Only 20% of a student’s time is spent in the classroom. Our schools cannot meet the needs of our youth on their own. By coordinating government and community resources, we can better prepare our students for life and work.”

The initial charge of the Children’s Cabinet will be to support the school district’s Student Success Plans pilot. Like a roadmap, personalized Student Success Plans identify and connect students to basic needs like food, housing and health care, as well as after-school and summer programs, mentoring and internships.

Student Success Plans will be piloted in at least six schools during the 2019-2020 school year. The Children’s Cabinet will work with the school district to identify and address the needs of the students involved in the pilot. The cabinet intends to eventually expand the program to every school.

The Children’s Cabinet builds on the work of Chattanooga 2.0, which has convened a broad set of community leaders and organizations to increase educational and workforce opportunities for students. Chattanooga 2.0 staff and partners will serve an integral role in supporting the work of the cabinet as it moves forward.

“The Children’s Cabinet will help us reach our shared vision of being the smartest community in the South and achieve the bold goals set forth by Chattanooga 2.0,” says Molly Blankenship, vice president of talent initiatives of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and interim executive director of Chattanooga 2.0.

Coppinger adds, “Other communities across the country are using the Children’s Cabinet model to align resources and coordinate support for youth with promising results. We’re confident the cabinet will work in our community.”

Source: Children’s Cabinet