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On the Rise: Community Schools in Cincinnati

Partnership for the Future of LearningAug 24, 2022

Drama and ELA teacher, Katie Fleihman, uses her past experiences and struggles as a student to help her students overcome their own challenges. She explains her approach to the curriculum: “In order to expand the curriculum and change up our basic idea of what a stereotypical classroom looks like, you need to bring outside pieces of the world in, and then the kids can see how the skill you're focusing on translates into the real world.” This type of enriched learning is a key pillar of a holistic approach to Community Schools (called Community Learning Centers in Ohio).

Community Learning Center Institute's neighborhood network of partners brought in Cincinnati’s first poet laureate, Pauletta Hansel, to forge connections with students around writing as a way to explore their identities and interests. For years, she has been facilitating students to write together about who they are, their families, and where they live through metaphors, images, and descriptions. Students like James Sweet and Lizziey Fahey, who once disliked poetry have become poets themselves, or have branched into other forms of written expression after finding their passion through working with her. These Community Learning Center partnerships not only create the conditions necessary for learning, but they can also provide opportunities for engaging experiential learning by connecting community experts from a variety of areas with the classroom.

Watch the full On The Rise series here:


What makes a community school? (https://communityschools.futureforlea...)

Community Learning Center Institute (

Media Sutra, Inc (

Partnership for the Future of Learning (

Pauletta Hansel (