Hooray for Middle School Success!

The mission of the Middle School Success Program is to provide academic, social and health support to12,000 low-income middle school students so they are properly prepared to transition to high school performing at grade level and on track to succeed.

To accomplish this mission, we will:

  • Collaborate with numerous nonprofit organizations that provide comprehensive and coordinated services in targeted schools in each of the eight regions we serve by June 2020.

United Way NCA thanks Amazon Web Services and their team of 600 volunteers for being a great sponsor and providing 1200 backpacks filled with essential school supplies for kids in need. It’s through your incredible efforts that we can make a difference in our communities every day.

United Way NCA’s Middle School Success Program uses a community schools model.

Community schools identify resources that connect home, school, and community in ways that make student success possible. By supporting both academic and non-academic learning, community schools teach the whole child and encourage their social, emotional, physical and academic growth. Furthermore, parents and families are brought into the school in a way that centers the needs of the whole family and welcomes them as active agents in their children’s achievement.

Using a community school model we collaborate with best-in-class nonprofit organizations that that convene the partners and services within local middle schools to address the academic and non-academic needs of low-income students and their families. These services include providing health and dental care, tutoring, enrichment programs, physical fitness activities, parental engagement activities such as housing counseling and other financial stability services and much more.

Each community school has a community school coordinator who develops partnerships with local community organization to create an environment where academics, enrichment, health and social supports, family engagement, youth and community development improve student well-being.

We are currently supporting 13 community schools in the region.

Our current partners include:

  • In Alexandria, we are partnering with Communities in Schools Northern Virginia in Francis C. Hammond Middle School.
  • In Fairfax, we are partnering with Communities in Schools Northern Virginia in Walt Whitman Middle School.
  • In Washington, DC, we are partnering with Communities in Schools Nation’s Capital in John Hayden Johnson Middle School, Cardozo Education Campus, Kramer Middle School, and Brookland Middle School. We are also partnering with City Year DC in Kelly Miller Middle School.
  • In Prince George’s County, we are partnering with Latin American Youth Center in Buck Lodge Middle School, William Wirt Middle School, Hyattsville Middle School and Nicholas Orem Middle School.
  • In Montgomery County, we are partnering with EveryMind and Linkages to Learning in A. Mario Loiederman Middle School
  • Advocate for increased local government funding to expand community schools in our region.
  • Donate to support our community schools work.


  • What is a community school?

    A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities.

  • Why are community schools important?

    Research shows that young people need a wide range of learning opportunities and supports to succeed. A quality academic program is necessary, but it is not sufficient. It is essential that schools address the myriad interdependent factors that affect our young people’s success, including the rising opportunity gap and the inequities in many students’ lives. Community schools are the vehicle for doing both.

  • What is the difference between a community school and a regular school?

    Community schools are an intentional school transformation strategy focused on results with participation from school and community leaders, educators, community partners, students, families, and residents. A regular school may have community partners and programs, but they typically operate in silos and are not well-aligned with the school’s academic plans and goals.

    Community schools also differ in how they view the community around them and how they work with community partners. Community schools see the community as a resource for learning and development and as a partner in the education of its children. They develop respectful and mutually beneficial relationships with families, neighborhood residents; and agencies and organizations are concerned with the well-being of children and youth.