Professor Hal Lawson, an early advocate for community schools recently reached out to The Children’s Aid Society to participate in an international book project that he is co-developing with Professor Dolf van Veen from The Netherlands. Professor Lawson calls The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) the “acknowledged world pioneer, leader, and catalyst for these new kinds of schools" and invited us to prepare a chapter on our New York City experience in order “to inspire others, helping them to leap-frog over the typical barriers confronting newcomers to this important work." The project involves this first volume plus a two-volume sequel related to this initial book. CAS and other authors would also be invited to contribute to the subsequent volumes.
Professor Lawson got interested in community schools in 1969; he says that it meant the world to him to see I. S. 218, the CAS prototype or pilot school, in the early 90’s. Lawson is Professor of Educational Administration and Policy Studies and also Professor of Social Welfare at the University at Albany, SUNY. This joint appointment reflects his interests in partnerships among schools, families, community agencies, neighborhood organizations, governments, businesses, and higher education institutions. Partnerships formed to meet the needs of vulnerable populations and their communities and ones involving laypersons’ leadership and expertise, comprise a special priority. These interests span nearly 40 years of teaching, research, consultation, and service in five universities in the United States and Canada.
Professor van Veenis Director of the National Centre on Education and Youth Care, The Netherlands Special Professor at the University of Nottingham (UK); and is affiliated with the Holland University Centre on Urban Education and Youth Policy in Amsterdam. His work focuses on policy strategies and innovative programs serving vulnerable children and youth and their families and schools. He is co-author and editor of over 30 books on multi-service schools, services integration, school attendance and drop out, counseling and student support services, urban education and youth policy, and time out/rebound programs. He is currently director of the Dutch National Programme on Learning and Behavior, support teams, serving 9,000 schools.