On November 20, U.S Rep., Congressman Andre Carson joined IPS administrators to announce the start of a five-year, multi-million dollar Full Service Community Schools (FSCS) project with lead partner Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center (MRNC.) The project is in place to support the students and families of George Washington Community High School and its feeder schools, Daniel Webster Elementary School 46, William Penn School 49, Wendell Phillips School 63 and Stephen Foster School 67. 


The U.S. Department of Education awarded the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center (MRNC) with the FSCS Grant amounting to $2.3 million. The grant will allow MRNC to leverage additional support services from varying community partners to enhance learning for students and their families.  In 2008, the MRNC was also awarded $2.4 million for their work with George Washington Community High School. 


The MRNC has joined forces with Christamore House, the Hawthorne Community Center and IUPUI to create a safety net around Indianapolis’s west-side community.


“We’ve developed a complete wraparound of support services to ensure students, families and school staff members can all be successful,” explains Liz Odle, Director of School Community Collaboration for the Mary Rigg Community Center. “With this grant we will leverage additional support services to make sure that goals, missions and desires can be obtained.”


Community partners have been diligently collaborating to provide a wide range of services that include tutoring, mental and physical health support, college and career readiness, family assistance, financial counseling and support with postsecondary scholarships.  Throughout this holiday season many partners have come together to provide support tubs filled with food, clothing and supplies to assist families in need.


Mentoring and academic support services for IPS west-side community schools are already in motion. Currently, each school is working to create a needs assessment to determine the largest areas of support that their families and community will require. School leaders will have the opportunity to assess and share those needs after the New Year. 


We are looking forward to watching the plans unfold for the MRNC and west-side community schools that will be supported through the use of the Full Service Community Schools Project grant.