LIFT Community Schools

LIFT Community Schools

LIFT (Link and Inspire for Tomorrow) is a place-based strategy, in partnership with Racine Unified School District and with support from Andis Foundation, that creates partnerships between neighborhoods and resources. It connects families from LIFT sites and the surrounding neighborhoods with resources focused on academics, family relationships and health and social services. Community schools increase opportunities for children to succeed in school by adding the kinds of resources known to make a difference: increased parental involvement in children’s education; extra learning opportunities through educational enrichment; consistent access to adult guidance and support and ready access to physical, dental and mental health services. Your continued support of our LIFT strategy within the community school model makes a difference in the lives of families, children and the entire community. United Way of Racine County has three community schools: Knapp, Julian Thomas and Mitchell. 


Learn more about our community school work

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View the latest newsletter in English.

Ver el último boletín en español.

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Learn more about our three community schools



Learn more about our Walking School Bus 

Walking School Bus


In collaboration with Racine Unified School District, United Way of Racine County introduced the LIFT strategy to Racine County in 2016 with our first community school, Knapp. 





In December 2021, United Way, in partnership with the City of Racine, distributed winter clothing gear to over 600 community schools students. 


The summer 2021 Extended Learning program provided resources and educational enrichment to 131 students from two community schools, Knapp and Julian Thomas. 





Thanks to Badger Meter, 3200 water bottles were distributed to Community Schools students, and nine filling stations were installed in our community schools. 

Meet the community schools director

Leigh Ann Martinez

Leigh Ann Martinez (She/Her/Hers)

Leigh Ann is responsible for the planning, implementation, management and evaluation of community schools in Racine County, in partnership with school district staff, United Way funded partners, families, students and community members. 

(262) 456-6472