All Our Children started in 2007 as a joint initiative of Trinity Wall Street and the Episcopal Diocese of New York in response to educational inequality in New York City’s public schools. Drawing on the advice of local educators, Trinity Wall Street (TWS) launched a program that supported congregations starting one-on-one partnerships with local schools and asked volunteers to give forty hours a year for five years to address a need identified by the school.
The first All Our Children partnership, between TWS and Leadership and Public Service High School, provided math and English tutoring to students. Over the following five years TWS supported sixteen church-school partnerships in the Diocese of New York.
Seeing the positive impact on schools, communities, and congregations, Suffragan Bishop Catherine Roskam of the Diocese of New York took action to expand this good work in the wider church. She proposed a resolution to General Convention 2009 expressing the church’s commitment to equitable education for all children and encouraging congregations to commit to their local schools. That resolution passed with support of deputies and bishops from across the Episcopal Church.
In June 2012 TWS invited Lallie Lloyd to join them in exploring how to expand the number and impact of church-school partnerships. In November they hosted a conference in Richmond for forty leaders from ten grassroots partnerships across the US.
Through this conference it became clear that these programs share a passion for serving children living in poverty by strengthening local schools. It also became clear they needed support and connection to help them learn and grow. Participants shared knowledge, resources, and ideas, and after two days of discussion and prayer they wanted to stay engaged with each other’s work.
The foundation had been laid, and the All Our Children National Network was launched to encourage, promote, and strengthen local church-school partnerships.