Community WHAT IS A COMMUNITY SCHOOL? A community school takes one of the largest and most under-utilized public facilities, the public school, and increases its investment by keeping it open evenings, weekends and during the summer for community activities. Through multi-ministry funding and non-profit partnerships, community schools address the needs of all age groups, with programs for preschoolers, after school care, and adult education and recreation. The expanded mandate of the educational system in recent years has strengthened the potential of community schools in BC. Community schools provide effective settings to implement early childhood development programs and prevention-based programs for youth and families. Extensive research, much of it from BC studies, shows overwhelming economic and social returns to society that result from investing in prevention and integrating community services. Each community school also has a Community School Coordinator who works with the community to develop and support many of the special offerings and programs within the community school. Community schools provide a way for community residents, with or without children, to participate in the activities of their neighbourhood school. The variety of programs and services they offer helps to meet the specific educational, recreational and social needs of the area they serve.