Mr. Chris Letsos, Executive Director
912 S. Gay Street, L210
Knoxville, TN 37902
Community Schools Strategy
Knox Education Foundation Community Schools strategy serves 16 public schools located in some of Knox County’s most challenged neighborhoods in which at least 50 percent of students are considered “economically disadvantaged.” Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute found that healthy behavior, physical environment, access to health care, economic factors such as education, employment, and income, along with family and social support, and community safety are the factors that most significantly impact health outcomes. As reflected in data presented above, the students and families served by Community Schools are more likely to face health challenges and are at higher risk of low health care access and poor health outcomes.
Project GRAD Knoxville
Established in 2001, Project GRAD Knoxville is a K-16 (elementary through postsecondary) nationally recognized college/career access and success nonprofit program in partnership with Knox Co Schools for 19 years and now supported as an initiative of the Knox Education Foundation. By infusing hope and opportunities while addressing barriers, GRAD (“Graduation Really Achieves Dreams”) provides information, awareness, exposure, and experiences that increase student knowledge, confidence, and readiness for postsecondary pathways and careers. PGK defines postsecondary as traditional two-year/four-year college or accredited trade/technical programs leading to industry recognized credentials.
“A child who doesn’t have access to food at home, who may not have access to food even in their community, may be showing up to school without the proper nourishment to be able to learn.”