Millennia consultants Tom Lenz and Brenda Bannor have played leading roles in creating and shaping the Partnership for Resilience (P4R), a unique collaboration of schools, unions, health care and community agencies that seeks to “integrate education, health, and community to support the whole child.” www.Partnership4Resilience.org. The initial focus of the Partnership has been school districts in the southern suburbs of Cook County though a second site in far southern Illinois has also been started.
Tom and Brenda have been instrumental in writing, Early Lessons in Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools, a report describing the Partnership’s launch and its efforts over the past three years foster and build health and resilience in schools. This report, jointly issued by the Harvard Education Redesign Lab and the Illinois Education Association, showcases practices that have informed the Partnership’s work.
For Tom Lenz writing a chapter on “Creating School – Health – Community Partnership” brought him back to his community organizing roots. “I’ve been struck time after time by the power of organizing tools, particularly one-on-one relational meetings,” said Lenz. “The Partnership has never had a big budget and in many ways, that’s been a good thing. It’s forced us to find and rely on talented teachers, support staff, medical providers and union leaders who have a passion for this work.”
For her part, shaping the Partnership’s school-based health service strategy has drawn on decades of work bringing health services to students and communities in Chicago and the collar counties. “I have spent much of my career working across sectors and facilitating collaborative work,” says Bannor. “The commitment of the schools, health care and community organizations involved in the Partnership continues to amaze me and has allowed us to implement exciting and innovative strategies.”
The report can be downloaded for free on the Harvard Education Redesign Lab website