Recently, Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis moved into the Hawthorne Community Center. It’s been a fortuitous pairing for many reasons; some we didn’t even see coming. Our co-location partnership began during COVID. Vanguard needed a more affordable location for our public charter middle school serving grades 5-8. At the same time, the Hawthorne was trying to offset financial pressures from COVID. We already had an established rapport based on serving our scholars — Hawthorne skillfully and joyfully provides our robust before and after school programming. Vanguard was able to take over the space and fill the void during the school day! Win win.
Supporting Middle School Needs
Together, Hawthorne Community Center and Vanguard became an additionally excellent fit because of the type of school we are, alongside the support they offer. We are both collectively on a mission to support the hierarchy of middle school needs of each scholar. In the past, generous board members and families helped Vanguards in need, but now being in the Hawthorne, the heart of the community, we have access to these resources in-house. Hawthorne helps those seeking employment and unemployment services, housing advice and much more.
Robust Outreach and Robust Academics
Being embedded in this community has deeply endeared us to the 46222 community. We, as a public charter middle school, have a better idea of what the community is facing by being here. Hawthorne Center’s outreach helps Vanguard to pivot to meet the needs of the community and by joining forces with the Hawthorne Center in-house, we enhance our ability to serve our scholars holistically, on their journey to be the best academic version of themselves.
Hawthorne Center runs a weekly food bank with distribution to the community. As we all know, it’s hard to learn when you’re hungry or don’t know if the lights will be on. Now we can help connect those dots — as a community circle of our own — Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis, Hawthorne Center and our 46222 families. 38% of our scholars are from this zip code. The two buildings we use at the Hawthorn Center allow us to differentiate our 5th-6th graders and our 7th-8th graders. Having this physical space for each set of maturity levels and learning needs is ideal in middle school and we are thrilled to provide this to our scholars, courtesy of our home at the Hawthorne Center.
Community is All Around Us
Community is all around us. From our school leaders in the news, winning awards and joining podcasts, to our scholars learning and cooking in a local, professional kitchen, or sailing in Chicago or participating in Juneteenth. Our in-school weekly Community Circle is our showcase of prominent Black and Latinx professionals telling our scholars about their path to success.
By co-locating at the Hawthorne Center, we provide our scholars with easier access to community outreach, we know more about how we can be of service to each scholar and family, and we further our commitment to serve with positive social impact and important, equitable learning. Like our scholars, our leadership team is always looking for opportunity to show our true character as those of a Vanguard — leaders in thought, word and action.
About Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis
Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis is unapologetically focused on the academic success of our scholars, our fifth to eighth grade students. Situated in Central Indianapolis, we provide high-quality instruction, rigorous curriculum, and supportive character development. We create pathways to college success and to becoming leaders in thought, word, and action. Be a Vanguard, today!