As an academic institution, Lehigh strives to learn from and collaborate with the local community. One of the most vital investments Lehigh can make in the community is offering educational opportunities that will enrich and deepen the lives of the children and families living in and around South Bethlehem.
Lehigh's Center for Developing Urban Educational Leaders has partnered with the Bethlehem Area School District and the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley to create a University Assisted Community School at Broughal Middle School and Donegan Elementary School on the South Side. The Community School model is designed to address the needs of both the students and their families. Hallmark programs of this model include academic support and enrichment, coordinated tutoring, the creation of special interest groups, coordinated health and wellness, and enhanced parent education.
Since 2009, Lehigh’s Community Service Office has been providing a safe, educational environment for South Bethlehem schoolchildren to receive academic support through after-school homework clubs. The partnership with three homework clubs at Broughal Middle School, as well as Fountain Hill and Donegan Elementary Schools, provides students with educational activities, assistance with homework, training for site leaders, and tutors four days a week - all in a space where students can feel safe and focused.
For nearly 25 years, Lehigh student-athletes have been making a difference on and off the field through the Community Outreach by Athletes who Care about Helping (C.O.A.C.H.) program. These student-athletes act as coaches for local school students by making presentations to students and student-athletes, offering educational-themed sports clinics, organizing group outings to Lehigh athletic events and participating in programs like Reading Rocks at Donegan Elementary School. Amid a hectic schedule of classes, practices and games, student-athletes involved in C.O.A.C.H. are dedicating time to inspire local students to succeed in school and in life.
Students and faculty involved in the South Side Initiative are improving access to fresh fruits and vegetables by providing local residents and members of the Lehigh community with convenient, inexpensive plots of land for gardening. One example is the Esperanza Garden along the Greenway, which is a student-driven project planned by the Community Leaders Initiative for Permaculture to celebrate the importance of fresh, local food.
hours spent tutoring South Bethlehem children every year
percentage increase in parents attending school-based activities during AY 13-14 from the previous year at Donegan Community school