The BSH model

The Bringing School Home model was developed for public and affordable housing providers interested in helping to close the learning and achievement gaps experienced by low-income children. Our model encourages and supports housing providers to engage with the parents and children that live with them, primarily on site but also in a voucher subsidy program, to enhance home as a hub for lifelong learning. 

Our model recognizes that within the 18 years of childhood there are many ages and stages where a housing provider can choose to bring its influence. That influence can be in the form of a program or adopted policies and can target a single age group or might be the entire cradle to career continuum. The Bringing School Home model theorizes, however, that affordable housing as a home base for learning leverages a maximum impact when children are age 0-9.

The problem

Children born into economically disadvantaged families are more likely to become economically disadvantaged adults in part because they lack a 24-7-365 surround structure of education and learning that empowers and equips them to rise out of poverty. In the early years, the home environment, not school, is where children spend most of their waking hours. Therefore, homes that are under-resourced and/or unstable undermine early learning, thwarting the attainment of school readiness and subsequent educational success.

Our solution boosts and reinforces the education potential of home and at home. By bringing school home, our campaign supports and enables the whole family – parents, siblings, and the student – to make learning meaningful and effective for growth and work.  

The opportunity

When schools look for allies and complementary educators, they seldom think of the housing sector as a go-to partner.  Yet with children spending only 14% of their waking hours in school in their first 18 years of life, homes can and should be the 86% school, and one of the school’s key partners should be a housing provider – often a mission-oriented landlord of public or affordable housing.

A home-centric model of children’s learning, combined with an evidence-based partner, can enable public housing providers to turn their campuses into learning-rich environments and become the community partners traditional educators so desperately need. To make learning a 24-7-365 opportunity built on trust, schools need an adjunct partner that has already gained the trust of children – and their parents. Outcome-focused public and affordable housing providers can do just that.

Guiding principles of the BSH model:

BSH provides a platform for delivery of community programs and a home base for education. Specifically, we:

  • Work with community partners to deliver education programming in a service-enriched housing campus that is a hub for education-focused living.
  • Create trusting relationships with families that begin at the earliest possible age of their children.
  • Believe in parents as teachers and support parents to meet with their neighbors in self-organizing peer-support networks.
  • Create a strong culture of achievement and success.
  • Provide an education-rich neighborhood and community environment that includes books, computers, WiFi, and learning resources.
  • Partner with an organization that can provide an extended-day and extended year learning program.
  • Together with our partner(s) offer a seamless commitment to the parent and child that lasts throughout their education career.
  • Together with our partner(s) make a commitment to the whole family and commit to an ethic of “whatever it takes” to remove barriers to learning.