The Akron Board of Education committed $500,000 last week toward building a center in the Summit Lake neighborhood that would have space for Head Start programs and two kindergarten classrooms, along with meeting rooms and resources for adult learning. The Summit Lake Family Opportunity Center aims to provide at one location the range of services that promotes coherence in a community.
The school district is one of several partners whose collaboration promises to give children in the Akron neighborhood a strong leg up on the future. In 2011, the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority won a $4 million grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to build the facility, joining with the city of Akron, the district and several service agencies to create a focal point for early childhood and adult education in the low-income neighborhood. The center also will house a Boys and Girls Club and offer residents in the neighborhood access to essential supportive services, including a health center, parenting and child guidance services, a resource library and career counseling.
The project is counting on the multiplier effect generated when several agencies join forces, bringing their different competencies under one roof to serve broadly related needs in a population.