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Hockaday partners with Dallas public schools

Hockaday girls work hard at their own studies, but in a single academic year they also logged more than 12,000 hours providing tutoring and academic enrichment for students in underserved public schools in the Dallas Independent School District. Initially a community service program, the partnership has evolved into a true service learning opportunity in which Hockaday students get to know and learn from their public school counterparts. “We work with schools that need us,” says Laura Day, director of service learning, “and we have two basic goals: number one is for our kids to be good role models, and number two is to get the DISD kids to the state standards by Grade Three.” Data indicators are used to measure the effectiveness of the outreach, which Day adds “is a really helpful thing for our kids as well as for the district.” Hockaday students also learn about the public school system through speakers who address the issues facing students in underresourced schools: “We remind our kids, ‘They’re just as smart as you are,’” says Day. Other aspects of the program include student drives to provide coats, holiday gifts, and other essential needs to the students being tutored. In the spirit of growing such programs nationwide, Hockaday has become part of the National Network of Schools in Partnership, a consortium supporting independent school–public school collaboration.

Does your school do something similar?

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