Photo by Dave Warner – Joe Morotti a strengths developer with Daneli Partners addresses students during a session at Little Falls High School in 2021.

The Little Falls City School District strives to inspire and empower our students to reach their full academic, physical and emotional potential in a safe and supportive environment. In the fall of 2021, the Little Falls City School District became part of the Connected Community Schools initiative which has prospered, providing support to students, faculty, and staff, engaging several students and families, linking to services and supports, and ensuring that the student’s basic needs are being met so they can simply engage and be successful in their education.

Little Falls CSD School Superintendent, Dr. Keith Levatino, Connected Community School’s Co-Leader Danielle Martin, SUNY Polytechnic Institute Interim Dean of the College of Health Sciences Dr. Joanne Joseph, and Daneli Partners Chief Executive Officer, David Casullo are pleased to announce a recent development of a formal partnership between the 4 entities to enhance the resiliency of our students and families under the Connected umbrella. This partnership will not only provide the students of Little Falls an opportunity to enhance their individual social and emotional learning, but it will also provide hands-on experience with civic responsibility and exposure to higher education. Additionally, the initiative will provide SUNY Poly students with an opportunity to research and further explore their career interests.

“This collaborative partnership between SUNY Poly, Connected Community Schools, Daneli Partners, and the Little Falls City School District will help meet and support the academic, social, and emotional needs for the students of Little Falls and SUNY Poly,” Dr. Keith Levatino.

This partnership will entail a field experience opportunity for SUNY Poly students to work alongside our Connected Community Schools Site Coordinator, Sue Wallace-Eaton, SEALs Coordinator Sarah Phillips, Little Falls CSD Principal LeeAnn Dooley, and the faculty/staff. Together, the team will support students/families and participate in the creation and facilitation of the Civic Responsibility Committee, which will focus on a group of students that will be creating projects in the school and community to enhance student learning, engagement, and motivation.

“This committee will be a good opportunity for students to get involved to develop a new level of pride and engagement in their school and community. The committee will be student-driven, giving them the flexibility to use their creativity, interests, and understanding of community needs to plan fundraising events and awareness initiatives. I’m excited to be a part of this new layer of our initiative and think it will fit perfectly into the “big picture” of bridging our schools and communities to promote resiliency, acceptance, and compassion for each other,“ Sarah Phillips, SEALs Coordinator.

During this pilot semester, the SUNY Poly Students, under the supervision of Dr. Joseph, will be completing a research project to enhance the understanding of how to increase student engagement and motivation, in conjunction with the hands-on experience of interacting with the students and families at Little Falls High School.

“The partnership between the Connected Community Schools initiative, Little Falls, Daneli Partners and SUNY Poly’s College of Health Sciences programs is a wonderful example of how institutions of higher education can work collaboratively to benefit students throughout their educational experience, and we look forward to enabling this exciting initiative and opening the doors of opportunity to these students,” said Dr. Joseph.

Daneli Partners works collaboratively to empower leaders and potential leaders in businesses and education. We help people to recognize their strengths, utilize them to maximize their potential, and focus on what matters most. These partnerships inspire individuals and organizations, which in turn, strengthens the larger community. Harnessing the abilities of all segments of our community is why Daneli Partners is proud to partner with Connected Community Schools, Little Falls Central School District, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

“This formalized partnership is the only beginning of an opportunity, with a vision that we may be able to expand this partnership to reach our other connected districts to provide this opportunity to many students throughout New York State and the potential to open new doors. I am honored to work alongside this team!” Danielle Martin, Co-Leader of the Connected Community Schools Initiative.