The SUN Service System helps our youth have the opportunity to develop intellectually, socially and emotionally. Like three strands of a rope, these intertwined capacities strengthen later functioning into adulthood. For young people to be strong and healthy, their families need to be stable and their communities need to be safe and supportive.
SUN Community Schools are neighborhood hubs where the school and partners from across the community come together to mobilize and organize community resources at the local school to support children and families. Through SUN Community Schools, partners have a collective impact on children’s educational attainment and family stability.
Recent scientific findings about how the brain works show that high levels of stress during childhood and adolescence can damage how the brain functions. Investing early in strategies that reduce or minimize that stress on youth and families results in significant benefits to our community. SUN offers opportunities and supports that support healthy child and youth development and family stability.
What do SUN Community Schools Do?
SUN Community Schools are the school-based delivery sites for the SUN Service System, a broader system of care that includes the City of Portland, Multnomah County, six school districts, the state Department of Human Services, nonprofits and community members. There are currently 85 SUN Community Schools across Multnomah County.
SUN Community Schools have six main elements that are critical to their success in supporting students and families. The six elements are:
- Strong core instructional program that challenges and supports students to their highest potential by focusing on rigor, and relevance through supportive relationships.
- Educational support and skill development for youth and adults based on youth, family and community hopes including tutoring, homework help, team building, and building a positive identity.
- Enrichment and recreation activities ranging from the arts to sports such as hobbies, industrial skills and games.
- Family involvement and support such as information about the school and parents’ rights, leadership development, classes like education and language learning, and opportunities to get involved.
- Social, health and mental health resources that often include links to emergency housing and utility services, health and mental health providers, and organizations for those experiencing domestic violence.
- Family and community events that might focus on specific topics like a math or reading night, build community like a cultural celebration, or celebrate students’ achievement or progress.
At SUN Community Schools, the collective efforts of youth, parents, businesses, faith communities, libraries, and community organizations create a network of supports that ensure child academic success, that communities thrive.
Who can participate?
SUN Community Schools are open to all ages, preschool to seniors, with a focus on students in the immediate school community.
Find local SUN Community Schools and services like food and energy assistance or click the map below.
Key documents to download