Children's Aid Society Expands National Center for Community Schools

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New Name, New Website, Larger Location Signal Strategy for Growth in the Next Five Years

Contact:

Ellen Lubell, (o) 212-949-4938, (c) 917-854-6864, ellenl@childrensaidsociety.org

Emily Crossan, (o) 917-286-1548, (c) 201-344-5742, emilyc@childrensaidsociety.org

NEW YORK, February 2010 – The Children’s Aid Society’s National Center for Community Schools (originally The National Technical Assistance Center for Community Schools) has moved to new, larger, more centrally located headquarters in Harlem and has just launched its new website, www.nationalcenterforcommunityschools.org.

“After 15 years of successful work, we’re delighted to enlarge our operation,” said Jane Quinn, Assistant Executive Director for Community Schools for The Children’s Aid Society and Director of the National Center. “Our beautiful new Harlem location and training spaces will help us further our assistance to educators and communities.”

In addition to the primary space, which can accommodate up to 40 people for a training session, the staff now has access to several additional training areas, one of which can hold up to 300. “Enlarging our operation will also help us capitalize on the increasing support for community schools, which is growing at the national level, from the American Federation of Teachers to the Secretary of Education and other national leaders,” said Richard R. Buery, Jr., President and CEO of The Children’s Aid Society.

Since its founding in 1994, the National Center has facilitated the development of over 15,000 community schools nationally and internationally. The Center’s staff assists educators, community leaders, funders and policymakers in adapting The Children’s Aid Society community school model; the staff provides the consultation, advocacy and innovation that enable schools and their community partners to meet the needs of children, families and empower neighborhoods.

The Children’s Aid Society operates 22 community schools in New York City in partnership with the Department of Education as well as many community-based, school-district and health partners. A Children’s Aid community school combines best educational practices with in-house health, social and child and youth development services to ensure that children are physically, emotionally and socially prepared to learn. Open six days a week, 50 weeks a year, community schools become the centers of their communities, offering services and programs for parents as well as children and a home for community programming.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has endorsed this approach; on the Charlie Rose program on public television last year he stated: “When the school becomes the center of community life, great things are going to happen for those families, and great things are going to happen to those children.” Subsequently, in speaking to a national community schools conference hosted by The Children’s Aid Society, Duncan observed that “making every school a community school has got to be our collective vision.”

The National Center for Community Schools has assisted many major national and international community school initiatives. To date, the Center has worked with 44 cities in the United States to adapt this strategy. Thousands of visitors from virtually every state in the U.S. and 43 countries have come to New York to learn from The Children’s Aid Society. Every school in England has adapted the Children’s Aid model and every school in Scotland incorporates elements of the model. Approximately 1,000 schools in The Netherlands are community schools. Colombia, South Africa, Bonaire and the Czech Republic have piloted the strategy on a smaller scale. The Children’s Aid Society does not encourage a rigid replication of any one model of community school. Rather, the Center’s personalized consultations about the school in question, organization and community facilitate the creation of a customized adaptation that considers the specific needs and assets of the community.

The Children’s Aid Society is an independent, not-for-profit organization established to serve the children of New York City. Our mission is to provide comprehensive support for children in need, from birth to young adulthood, and for their families, to fill the gaps between what children have and what they need to thrive. Founded in 1853, it is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative non-sectarian agencies, serving New York’s neediest children. Services are provided in community schools, neighborhood centers, health clinics and camps. For additional information, please call 212-949-4938, email ellenl@childrensaidsociety.org, or visit www.childrensaidsociety.org.

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