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.

Where Everything
Connects for Kids

The Budd Center conducts an annual partner survey to evaluate our collective impact efforts. Highlighted below are some responses from the 2016-17 partner survey.

Capacity Building

  • 87% report that TSZ has helped them improve the quality of services provided to families and/or students.
  • 86% report that TSZ has helped them match services provided with the needs of specific students

Collective Impact

  • 96% report that they believe TSZ can make a greater collective impact than individual organizations working in isolation.
  • 90% report that they collaborate with other TSZ partners at least quarterly.

Professional Development and Networking

  • 100% report that TSZ is beneficial in the development of valuable relationships.
  • 94% report that The Budd Center’s professional development is beneficial in improving school and nonprofit performance.