Senior Official to Visit New Orleans to Highlight Importance of Community Partnerships in Education, Interfaith Cooperation, and Obama Administration Efforts to Make College More Affordable

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Michael Robbins, senior advisor for nonprofit partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education, will visit New Orleans on Thursday and Friday, April 26-27, to participate in three events: a "Together for Tomorrow" town hall discussion on the value of community engagement in education to propel school improvement; a discussion on the President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, and a discussion with New Orleans faith communities on college access and affordability.

Together for Tomorrow is a national initiative to spotlight and foster partnerships among schools, families, national service programs, and community-based programs in order to turn around low-performing schools. Tulane University together with Arise Academy, Benjamin Banneker Elementary and Frontline Schools: Samuel J. Green Charter and Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High, are leading one of six Together for Tomorrow demonstration sites, acting as an example of effective community participation in school intervention efforts.

The town hall will highlight this work and the recently announced Together for Tomorrow School Improvement Challenge through Joining Robbins for the town hall will be Tulane University President Scott S. Cowen; Lucas Diaz, director of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Engagement for the city of New Orleans; John Kelly, senior advisor to the CEO and Director of Partnerships and Engagement, Corporation for National and Community Service, and other speakers and panelists. It will take place at Langston Hughes Academy at 10:30 a.m. CT, followed by a Q and A session.

At 4:00 p.m. CT, Robbins and Kelly will lead a discussion at Loyola University on the President's Interfaith Community Campus Challenge, an initiative inviting institutions of higher education to commit to a year of interfaith cooperation and community service programming, such as diverse campus groups working together to carry out a specific year-long service project or establishing partnerships between local religious groups to jointly tackle a community challenge. As the event host, Loyola University is bringing together schools in the New Orleans area to learn and share what they have accomplished and discuss projects in the future.

The following day at 1:30 p.m. CT, Robbins will lead a discussion with people from the faith communities of New Orleans about working together to help our young people go to college and what the Obama Administration is doing to help make it more affordable. The discussion will take place at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.