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Bob Kronick

University-Assisted Community Schools (UACS) won a three-year $100,000 grant (totaling $300,000) from the United Way of Greater Knoxville.

Bob Kronick“The grants were competitive and we got ours through hard work among the collaborative team.” – Bob Kronick, director of UACS


The grant was written by Bob Kronick, professor and director of UACS, Mark Benson, school coordinator of UACS, and Dareen Basma, Counselor Education PhD student. Through Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, United Way will award UACS a total of $300,000 over a three-year period.

UACS is an initiative to address unmet social, economic, and academic needs of Knoxville students and community members. They have two full-service community schools, one at Pond Gap Elementary School and a newer one at Inskip Elementary School. Funds from this grant will largely be used to hire staff to support the efforts at Inskip. The mission of UACS is to “create challenging learning opportunities for students to excel by providing a nurturing environment supported by the family, community, staff, and students.”

Bob KronickThe Community Full-Service Schools Program (now called University-Assisted Community Schools), directed by Bob Kronick, was chosen as one of fifty exemplary partnerships by the Carnegie Advisory Committee.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the UT Institute of Agriculture recently submitted a joint application for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. As part of that process, nominations were collected from every college and fifty exemplary partnerships were chosen to be promoted during the 2015 calendar year. The Community Full-Service Schools Program was not only selected at one of the fifty to be promoted, but also as one of only fifteen partnerships highlighted in the 2015 Carnegie Community Engagement Application.

The Office of Engagement and Outreach has already begun promoting this praiseworthy partnership effort, with a story focused on Kronick’s experiences with civic engagement through the community schools.

Fact-Sheet information provided for additional promotions include:

The Mission: The Community Full-Service Schools program addresses the unmet basic needs of Knoxville area children and their families that are not met by public schools and human service agencies. The program’s mission is to empower community participants to access support systems independently and learn to help themselves. The project seeks to improve educational outcomes and reduce the number of high school dropouts. The program has been in place at Pond Gap School since 2009.

The Partners: Community partners for this project include faculty members at Pond Gap Elementary, Knox County Schools, Boys and Girls Club, Pellisssippi State Community College, Knoxville Opera Company, and South College. University of Tennessee partners include the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, Education, Health and Human Sciences, along with the departments of Sociology, Wildlife and Forestry, Counseling and Sport Psychology, and the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy.

Impact on UT: Institution impact includes service-learning opportunities for students in a variety of academic disciplines, and career development opportunities for UT students. Students serve in these schools as mentors, teachers and friends with faculty supervision, and participate in a learning environment promoting engaged educational reform. Six faculty members from College of Education, Health and Human Services work with 14 faculty members from Pond Gap Elementary School. During the regular academic year, close to 125 UT and Pellissippi students with the community schools and close to 55 students volunteer for summer activities.

Impact on Community: Community Impact includes the provision of health services to students and their families, mental health screenings, academic support for students and their families, as well as financial support for the families. At-risk urban students are enabled to create long-term, mentoring relationships with UT students and faculty based on the three tenants of prevention, collaboration, and systems-level thinking.