As students return to school in the coming weeks, many will need extra support — not just with academics, but also with social and emotional development. This can’t just fall to teachers and other school staff. It’s up to everyone in the community to show up for young people.

Teachers are most certainly feeling the pressure. In a recent National Education Association survey of more than 3,000 educators, 67% said burnout was a major problem in the profession. Principals are feeling stressed, too. A new Rand Corp. survey found that nearly 85% of principals experience recurring job-related stress.

Community organizations like nonprofits, corporations, cultural institutions and social service agencies can play an important role in supporting teachers by joining them in support of students. Our nonprofit, Communities In Schools of Chicago, has been connecting neighborhood organizations with teachers and students for over 30 years. We’ve linked schools with everything from vision screenings and music programs to STEM lessons and grief counseling, provided by a network of more than 200 partners.

Here are some strategies for making an impact in schools, starting at square one:

  1. Make sure the program has clear objectives, whether it’s one time only or multi-session.
  2. Find the right fit.
  3. Do the pre-work!
  4. Communicate effectively.
  5. Engage the students.
  6. Let your passion shine through.
  7. Stay flexible.
  8. Assess, assess, assess.
  9. Follow up.
  10. Invest in professional development.

Read the full article about community organizations in schools by Sucada Bell and Karen Roddie at The 74.