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The Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools (ACTS) is a 3-year-old social justice organization promoting excellent, culturally-grounded, collaborative education for all children in urban school systems. We promote the ideas of community teachers and community schools by helping all of the adults to work together to create learning environments that develop educational resiliency – in other words, school communities that provide the optimal conditions for child well-being, development and learning.
We develop innovative models in democratic Circles of Practice, within which educators, caregivers, and students can bring about change. The models embrace all aspects of instruction, leadership, climate, programming, support services, and engagement. We help schools build these authentic learning communities around children and youth, actively embedding their education in personal and cultural development, led by high-quality teachers, engaged families, and knowledgeable community partners. Community teachers and community schools lift up strong lessons of culture and heritage as building blocks for their curriculum, and tie learning to family, neighborhood and historical achievement in urban communities. Through professional development, teacher preparation, partnership development, family and community engagement, and whole school transformation, the Alliance supports all of the stakeholders in education to deepen their understanding and their practices in the furtherance of young people's healthy and successful development.
The Alliance's work is progressive, collaborative, and challenging; its vision is optimistic about the possibilities for powerful change in the education of urban children.