SUN School

  • SUN Site Manager
    Lili Gomez


    Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) Initiative

    The SUN Initiative was founded by the City of Portland, OR and Multnomah County, OR in 1999 as a partnership of city, county, state, and schools.

    SUN's Mission is to improve the lives of children, their families and the community through partnering with local school communities to extend the school day and develop schools as "community centers" in their neighborhoods.

    SUN schools strive to be a community "hub." They link with other community institutions, such as the libraries, parks and community centers, neighborhood health clinics and area churches and businesses.

    SUN Initiative Goals

    • Improve student achievement, attendance, behavior and other skills for healthy development and academic success through increased capacity of the local schools to provide a safe, supervised and positive environment for expanded experiences.
    • Increase family involvement in the schools and school-based programs.
    • Increase community and business involvement in the schools and school-based programs.
    • Improve the system of collaboration among school districts, government, community-based agencies, families, citizens and business/corporate leaders.
    • Improve use of public facilities and services by locating services in the community-based neighborhood schools.

    How do SUN SCHOOLS Work?

    • SUN Schools tailor their events, classes, services and activities to what the local community wants, through the use of an Advisory Committee.
    • SUN Schools build up positive assets already in communities and link those with the activities offered in the school.
    • SUN Schools bring together schools, community leaders and agency professionals to plan the best ways to support youth -- in education, family involvement, the community, providing services and utilizing community buildings.
    • SUN Schools use an evaluation team to measure impact, celebrate success and continuously improve SUN School programs and their impact in the community.

    Primary Activities

    • Though there is a broad range of activities at the SUN schools, SUN's primary activities are considered to be:
    • Before and After-school academic and enrichment programs that are linked with the school day
    • Family Involvement and strengthening programs
    • Health and Social Services for the students, families and community
    • Community events
    • Adult Education


    • The SUN model is for governance to be site-based with the following structure:
    • Operating Team: principal, site coordinator and lead agency
    • Site Partners Team: representing all the entities in the school that work with the students
    • Site Advisory Committee: a combination of both customers and providers in the SUN system

    This structure is in an evolutionary stage and is expected that it will be tailored at the school level to best ensure that the critical roles are fulfilled.