Jewel Caldwell, 16, and Khalil Bridges, 18, embrace before Khalil's graduation from Renaissance Academy High School in Baltimore on June 3. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

The insightful June 19 front-page article " Coming of age in a city coming apart " noted that high school graduate Khalil Bridges still need ed help and would likely seek it, as he had before, upstairs in "a familiar office" in his public school.

There he would find community school coordinator Hallie Atwater, a clinical social worker employed by the University of Maryland School of Social Work through its place-based initiative, Promise Heights.

Community schools partner with organizations to provide wraparound services such as meals, health care and tutoring inside or near the school building.

By making schools a hub where multiple entities come together to surround a child with opportunity, this model helps students and their families learn and succeed.

This proven model deserves expansion to more schools and to have enough reach to support youths who continue to need ideas, resources and caring even after graduation.

Parents gulp when they think about the risks of their child’s post-high-school experience — imagine the risks for those children who rely on community schools for their guidance and, even, their survival.

Richard P. Barth, Baltimore

The writer is dean of the
University of Maryland School of Social Work.