We promote sustainable, high-quality out-of-school time (OST) youth development programs through advocacy and capacity building to enhance the welfare of Pennsylvania’s children, youth and families. Afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families. For every Pennsylvania child enrolled in an afterschool program, there are at least two more waiting to get in. We unite policymakers, state agency representatives, local leaders, businesses, advocates and service providers to help make quality afterschool programs available and affordable to every child in our state.


We offer a variety of professional learning opportunities that are designed to support educators of English learners and their families. Our instructional team has expertise in language acquisition and linguistics, scaffolded instruction, culturally and linguistically relevant teaching, social justice education, and federal and state policies and regulations in the field of EL education. In addition to professional learning, the ELD instructional staff provides technical assistance to Pennsylvania’s public school districts on topics such as the coordination and completion of the annual English language proficiency assessment (i.e. ACCESS 2.0); curriculum development; EL identification, placement, and reclassification; monitoring student growth; and supporting ELs with identified learning disabilities.


We are improving environmental literacy among Pennsylvania educators in areas such as stream science, farm to school programs, schoolyard habitats, nature play spaces, storm water management, recycling efforts and Green Ribbon Schools. Our team provides webinars, on-site trainings, surveys, reports and grantee technical support.


We collaborate with schools and communities to dismantle inequities, disparities and discrimination. We work to raise awareness of the need for equitable access to education systems where all students feel safe, valued and respected.


We facilitate the statewide leadership team that promotes the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors framework – the resources families draw on when life gets difficult. Parents need opportunities to develop protective factors that influence positive outcomes for children such as healthy development, school readiness, safety, and physical and emotional security. Our training and consulting deepen participants’ understanding of the framework and their ability to integrate this approach into their work with families.


We focus on collaborative work that family members, educators and organizational staff can address together. We help partners develop policies and practices to create a welcoming environment in schools, pre-schools, out-of-school time programs and community-based organizations. Using a strengths-based approach, we build the capacity of team members, conduct asset mapping, and increase professional learning among partners.


We are a statewide school safety center, committed to developing creative and effective solutions to problems that disrupt the educational process and affect school safety. With nationally recognized expertise in prevention efforts for bullying, teen dating violence, suicide, hazing and youth violence, we help schools identify and implement effective programs and practices and maintain safe, productive learning environments.


Our work is grounded in the belief that people of all ages possess the ability to learn, grow and become well equipped to navigate life’s successes and challenges. We envision a future where all learners will become socially and emotionally competent individuals of strong character. With decades of experience in SEL and character development and backgrounds in counseling, education, research and psychology, we bridge the gap between research and practice for educators and practitioners in formal and informal settings.


We are a state leader in afterschool and out-of-school time science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programming. Through our STEM systems building project, we provide resources and tools to help engage and excite Pennsylvania students in grades K-12 in STEM subject areas; and build staff interest and capacity. We work with various partners in education, business and the community to advocate for STEM education policy that ensures quality STEM experiences for all students and connections to postsecondary opportunities with career pathways in STEM.


We are promoting ways to help youth feel physically and emotionally safe, to have a sense of belonging and self-worth, to learn to discuss conflicting values and form their own opinions, to feel pride and accountability, and to build solid relationships with peers and adults. Recognized as experts in youth development, our staff engage, train and support educators who work with migrant students, homeless youth, parenting teens, foster care youth, and with families experiencing poverty.

Let's Work Together

Center for Schools and Communities

275 Grandview Avenue, Suite 200
Camp Hill, PA 17011
(717) 763-1661

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