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Citation:Lewis, A. C., & Henderson, A. T. (1998). Building bridges: Across schools and communities, across streams of funding. Chicago, IL: Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform.

This document reports the results from a national conference hosted by the Cross-City Campaign for Urban School Reform, which brought together community-based education reformers and funders. The purpose of the meeting was to underscore the role that community organizations play in school reform and the need for reciprocal school-community connections. It was also an effort to broaden the thinking of funders beyond the categories that usually define their view of school reform. Case stories from local efforts provided a basis of discussions, with leaders of exemplary efforts describing how they approached the work and the results they achieved. Conference presenters emphasized expanded definitions of school-community connections, and the role a school can play in the life of the community. New indicators for measuring relationship-building and community-building work related to school reform are also described. Conference participants prioritized key issues that need to be addressed in order to move local work, and the field as a whole, forward. This report offers substantive information related to community-based school reform efforts. It describes an area of the field of family and community involvement that has not been extensively addressed in the research, and presents insights into new models of school-community connections.

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