CSX Transportation, An Achievable Dream and the Riverside
Helping to build the foundation for better education through better health
The Need: The movement toward viewing childhood and adolescent education in a broader and more holistic context continues to grow nationally and within our region. Health interventions, as well as health and wellness promotion within the school setting, are an important part of this trend. For the schools themselves, however, particularly for those within the public education system, the significant resources needed to include a focus on the health and wellbeing of the children they serve are almost universally lacking.
In most areas, what is missing, and what is critically needed, is an increased level of support, a bridge between the commitment to improve educational achievement through better health status and the funding required to bring the hope to reality.
Simply put, if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an innovative partnership between public and private resources to make sure that the child has access not only to quality education, but also to the kind of health and wellness programs that enhance it.
Riverside is part of this broader community of support through the presence of health clinics supplied and staffed by Riverside registered nurses on both the elementary and middle school/high school campuses of An Achievable Dream Academy in Newport News.
An Achievable Dream is a unique partnership between Newport News Public Schools, the City of Newport News and the local business community.
Students at An Achievable Dream (AAD) are considered at-risk of failure in school due to socioeconomic factors. Many of them live in single-parent or other-than-parent households in areas where crime and poor health are prevalent.
Although most schools have a nurse's office on site, AAD follows a far broader vision of health and wellness. The on-site Riverside Clinic staff educates students about healthy behaviors; helps them manage chronic conditions, with an emphasis on diabetes, asthma and obesity; and helps create a foundation of physical and mental health to support success into the future.
Staff at the Riverside Clinics at AAD also provides attendance intervention and home visits along with safety and violence prevention education. In addition they offer access to health education and services for the family members of students attending the school. For more information on An Achievable Dream Academy, visit http://aadacademy.nn.k12.va.us/
The Gift: A corporate contribution spread over two years and directed by CSX Transportation to help support the work of Riverside-staffed clinics located on the two An Achievable Dream campuses in Newport News.
The Giver: CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries form one of North America's leading suppliers of rail-based transportation. In addition to traditional rail service CSX Transportation is engaged in the transport of intermodal containers and trailers. The extensive CSX rail network includes over 21,000 miles of track in 23 states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces.
Within the Hampton Roads region, CSX Transportation is a major resource and product supplier to the Newport News coal export terminals as well as the Newport News shipyard. Learn More About CSX.
The Opportunity: The history of railroads in America has involved connecting people with products and places in the most economical way possible. The future of railroads, as envisioned by CSX Transportation, will also include connecting people to resources – and also providing some of those resources – in a way that improves their quality of life.
Quintin Kendall, CSX Transportation Vice President of State Government and Community Affairs, views the CSX Transportation mission to partner with the communities it serves and the goals of An Achievable Dream to improve the overall wellbeing of its students, as a very good match.
"CSX Transportation has developed an expansive, internal program called Beyond Our Rails. The name gives you a good idea of their intent. Through the work carried out by Beyond Our Rails, CSX maintains a strong commitment to a wide range of national, regional and local efforts in the specific areas of safety, the community, the environment and wellness. Over the years, CSX employees have also helped meet a variety of community needs through their participation in volunteer activities."
As a result, CSX Transportation was quick to see that Riverside and An Achievable Dream represented appropriate partners, in their shared interest in improving community health and wellness.
"As a company, CSX Transportation believes that the programs being provided through the Riverside clinics are an important contributor to a healthier community in the broadest sense of the term," Mr. Kendall added, "and they make a significant impact on the link between physical wellbeing and learning."
"What An Achievable Dream has already accomplished, and what the Riverside Foundation is helping to maintain through the professionally-staffed clinics it helps fund, is a capability that CSX Transportation is pleased and honored to be part of through its gifts."
As a major contributor to City Year, a national youth service organization that directs resources to reducing school dropout rates, CSX Transportation also supports leadership among the young men and women who participate in the program.
According to Mr. Kendall, "The work done through City Year on a national scale has a clear relationship to what Riverside and An Achievable Dream are doing locally. Both of these initiatives are, at their basic level, about creating healthier, safer and more nurturing learning environments, while also helping to develop future leaders."
"Supporting the work of the Riverside clinics at An Achievable Dream is a natural extension of the CSX community mission. It's something the company believes in strongly and it's a belief they're supporting in a very tangible way."