Through the Lens of a George Lucas video... Why Community Schools Work

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"Public education is the foundation of our democracy -- the stepping-stones for our youth to reach their full potential.” – George Lucas

The reason why The Children’s Aid Society’s Community Schools work so well according to considerable research - and common sense - is that children flourish when the important influences in their lives, like family, teachers, coaches, and mentors, all band together to help a child.  Teaching children to be mindful of their health through education and recreational exercise like sports and dance, while also being respectful of their mind through academic studies, trade, arts and music instruction - are all part of the community school strategy. It is also how The Children’s Aid Society has operated for over 150 years.

A film crew from the George Lucas Educational Foundation spent time at a Children’s Aid Community School, Intermediate School 218 (IS218) in Washington Heights, creating a nine-minute video illustrating the successful implementation of this powerful strategy.

The “virtual site visit” highlights the school’s comprehensive instructional program – a combination of educational, recreational and social services.

IS 218 is a public intermediate school designed, from the very beginning, to meet the needs of the entire community. Their extraordinary after-school program, for children and adults alike, is a dynamic model for other community schools to follow suit. The Children’s Aid Society’s Assistant Executive Director for Community Schools, Jane Quinn, agrees: “When I first came to this school, I noticed two things. I noticed that the children seemed happy and I noticed that there were a lot of extra adults around, and I wanted to know what was happening here and how we could make it happen in more places.”

Community schools do work, thanks to the dedication and commitment of an entire team of players and supporters – all inspired by one common goal: to help children develop and grow into productive members of the community.