Mayor to Kick Off Richmond City Community Schools Initiative at Bellemeade Community Center This Saturday

~Event to include family activities, health screenings and health and wellness information~

The public is invited to the Richmond City Community Schools initiative Kickoff this Saturday, November 22 from 11a.m. to 3p.m. at the Bellemeade Community Center, 1800 Lynhaven Avenue. Mayor Dwight C. Jones will begin the event by officially announcing the initiative, which is a major collaboration between the City, Richmond Public Schools and community partners. Community Schools serve as community “hubs” designed to promote academic achievement, personal wellness, and holistic family and community stability through coordinated partnerships. The Richmond City Community Schools initiative is an outgrowth of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Policy. Mayor Jones will be joined in launching the initiative by Richmond Public School Board Member, Dr. Derik Jones and Richmond Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Dana Bedden.

Saturday’s kickoff event will be filled with a variety of family activities, tours of the facility, basic health screenings, and health and wellness resources as well as other social services information. Through several upcoming engagement events and a combination of on-and off-site social, health and other wraparound services, Richmond City Community Schools will serve thousands of city residents each year.

“No one factor determines poor academic achievement; and no single intervention will improve educational outcomes in our city’s youth. That’s why I’m pleased that we are partnering with Richmond Public Schools and our many private and public partners, to address determinants that give rise to poor outcomes in the lives of our students, their families and their communities,” said Mayor Jones.

“This is the type of collaborative effort that will give our principals, teachers and staff the opportunity to continue to maximize and remove obstacles to student learning,” said, Dr. Derik Jones, Richmond School Board, 8th District. “I am pleased that the 8th District is part of the initial rollout of the Richmond City Community Schools strategy with implementation underway at Oak Grove-Bellemeade and Broad Rock Elementary Schools.”

“Schools are often the nucleus of a community,” said Dr. Dana Bedden. “By bridging access to quality health care, social services and community resources, we advance the improvement of academic outcomes for our city’s youth and the quality of life for our families.”

In addition to Saturday’s kickoff, Broad Rock Elementary School will host an open house in December to showcase programs and services being offered to the community through the Richmond City Community Schools collaborative. Cigna is joining the City as a major partner to support the launching of Richmond City Community Schools.

“Cigna is proud to be a sponsor of the Richmond City Community Schools initiative and to join Mayor Jones and so many community partners to promote good health and well-being,” said Julia Huggins, president, Cigna MidAtlantic. “Together, we can help our children achieve academic success and build a strong support system for them, their families and our entire community.” 

For more information about the Richmond City Community Schools initiative, please contact Keisha Smith (804) 646-0586 or by email at