A cover story in Parade , the nation’s best read magazine with 79 million readers, praises Long Beach and its Stevenson-YMCA Community School for its exemplary partnerships and high level of parental involvement.
Depicted on the August 27 cover is first grader Eric Brooks, who is achieving celebrity status thanks to the magazine’s wide distribution. Parade is inserted in more than 370 of the nation’s major Sunday newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Post and Chicago Tribune.
"Thanks to a community that refused to give up on education, Eric has a future," the magazine cover states.
The article, headlined "Good Schools Can Happen," notes that 200 parents and community residents are involved in the classroom as part of a partnership with the YMCA. Other partners include the California State University, Long Beach Department of Social Work, which has taken the school under its wing, helping to plan and evaluate programs.
The Y partnership trains parents in literacy skills, then sends them to teach other parents at home. The on-campus Stevenson-YMCA Community School also offers parents computer and English classes while encouraging community projects.
The community school model brings together many partners to offer extra support to children and families before, during and after school. While several schools nationwide have implemented the same model, few have done it better than Stevenson, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Coalition for Community Schools, which presented the national award during a ceremony at the year-round school.
The Parade article is the second time the Long Beach Unified School District has been praised by the national publication. In 1967, Parade awarded the school district the coveted Pacemaker honor for "leading the way to better education for America’s youth." A 1967 School Bulletin employee newsletter from LBUSD states that the district won the Pacemaker award because, "the district’s Board of Education, working closely with professional teachers’ organizations and with the moral and financial support of the city’s citizenry, has established a school system which endeavors to identify the particular needs of the individual student and to pattern instruction to satisfy those needs."
Today, Parade’s vast reach commands a premium for advertising. A full-page, color advertisement in the publication costs $848,200. By comparison, 30-second ads on prime time TV typically cost about $400,000. There is no charge for news articles such as Parade’s piece on Stevenson.