The United Kingdom Takes A Cue From The Children's Aid Society's Community School Model

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Members of the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee of the UK Parliament visited New York City to study first-hand The Children’s Aid Society Community Schools. The 13 members of Parliament toured Community School I.S. 218 in Washington Heights - greeted by the principal, June Barnett, as well as members of the National Technical Assistance Center for Community Schools (NTACCS). The Children's Aid Society operates the NTACCS to assist educators, community leaders, funders and policymakers in adapting The Children's Aid Society school model.

The members of Parliament toured the student wellness center, family room, orthodontic clinic, classrooms and auditorium, and heard presentations about community schools and services provided there. They had much to see and learn: in 2010, all of the schools in England will become extended schools, which are based in part on Children’s Aid’s full service model. On their fast-paced tour, the group posed questions about school-based services, parent involvement, narrowing the achievement gap, and inspiring student self-esteem and motivation — all integral parts of The Children’s Aid Society’s model.

There has also been a valuable link between The Children’s Aid Society and Scotland for 10 years, with our successful model contributing to the implementation of similar schools there. Scottish educators keep abreast of Children’s Aid’s Community Schools developments with yearly visits. Education, like the child who is ready to learn, has no boundaries!

The community schools strategy works in part because parental involvement yields results, as does providing children with enriched learning during out-of-school time. And on-site medical, dental and mental health services are all a part of the legacy of The Children’s Aid Society founder Charles Loring Brace’s vision. Children do better in school when the major influences on their development — family, school and community resources — work together.