The Buffalo State Community Academic Center (CAC) serves as a site where people from higher education and the local community meet to engage each other about matters of importance to children, families, and the West Side neighborhood. The center's mission is to coordinate and anchor cradle-to-career educational support programming for youth on Buffalo's West Side. Recognizing that the success of children is directly related to a viable social and economic infrastructure, the center also supports micro-enterprise development and partners with neighborhood revitalization efforts. With a special emphasis on the needs of refugee families, the center serves as a "hub" for work being done at various satellite locations in partnership with a variety of community-based organizations.
Buffalo State believes that education occurs within a social context and that for educational efforts to be successful that context needs to be acknowledged and addressed. Children need to be supported from cradle to career, in and out of school, if they are to become successful citizens of our complex society, and providing children with the full range of support they need often requires collaboration among a wide variety of groups. More and more it does take a "village" to raise a child.
To support this vision and to take responsibility for its contribution to it, Buffalo State has opened an educational support center on Grant Street in Buffalo’s West Side. The center serves as a site of listening and learning: Buffalo State will listen to community partners, families, and children in order to better understand what is needed for children to be ready, willing, and able to engage fully in learning. Through partnerships and collaborative efforts Buffalo State will work to develop and support programming that will foster children's abilities to learn and to contribute to the improvement of their lives.
More than 1,600 Buffalo State students together with 32 faculty and staff provided programming and support to over 1,600 youth and family members through the CAC in 2013–2014.
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