Celebrating Two Inaugurations

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We are happy to offer the inaugural issue of Partnership Press, an electronic newsletter designed to provide updates and analyses about community schools in New York City as well as across the nation and around the world. We timed our launch to coincide with the presidential inauguration in the U.S., and we chose the theme “Community Schools: Democracy in Action” as a way to highlight one of the key benefits of the community schools strategy − its focus on active citizen engagement in supporting student achievement, family well-being and school success.

January 2009 also marks the 17th birthday of The Children’s Aid Society’s first community school, the Salomé Ureña de Henríquez Campus in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, and the 15th birthday of our National Technical Assistance Center for Community Schools.

Children’s Aid’s local and national efforts have always been inextricably linked. Almost from day one, colleagues from around the country and the globe wanted to participate in study visits that would allow them to see a community school in action. We hired a national staff to design these visits and to provide training and consultation to colleagues who wanted to adapt our model. But, throughout the years, we also asked our partner principals, local community school directors and program staff to lead the visits and to make presentations about their work. Partnership Press is intended to showcase this unified approach.

In this issue, we highlight our local efforts to register voters and engage young people in the recent presidential election; national news focused on the appointment of community school champion Arne Duncan as U.S. Secretary of Education ; and an interesting global trend toward adoption of the community schools strategy as a vehicle for promoting democratization. We hope you enjoy Partnership Press and will write to ta@childrensaidsociety.org to provide us with your feedback, suggestions and news items.

Sincerely,

Jane Quinn, Director, National Technical Assistance Center for Community Schools Richard Negrón, Director, Community Schools