The trauma of living in poverty too often causes children to struggle academically. Without having their social, emotional and educational needs met, many students disengage from learning, drop out or graduate from high school unprepared for college and careers. Schools and nonprofits strive to address students’ complex needs; however, information gaps and limited resources hinder their efforts. The Budd Center addresses these challenges by equipping schools and nonprofits to work together and meet the extraordinary needs of children in poverty.

Partnering with West Dallas

Young child giving a thumbs up gesture in class

In 2007, The Budd Center, then the Dallas Faith Communities Coalition, began working in West Dallas to address critical issues like affordable housing and community safety. The work of the coalition led to the creation of The Budd Center's flagship project, The School Zone (TSZ), a collective impact partnership that provides children the educational, social and emotional tools they need to break the cycle of poverty. The Budd Center leads this partnership, currently comprising 33 nonprofits, 15 public, private and charter schools, the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) and SMU. The Budd Center's focus is the Pinkston High School feeder pattern in West Dallas, where historically underperforming schools have shown improvement in academic outcomes since our partners began working together collaboratively through The School Zone.