Community Schools In Action: Lessons From a Decade of Practice

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Co-Edited by Joy Dryfoos, Jane Quinn and Carol Barkin

Community Schools In Action

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This new book, written and edited by Children's Aid Society (CAS) staff, among others, and published by Oxford University Press, provides a decade’s worth of lessons from the front lines of The Children’s Aid Society’s Community Schools experience

What's Inside:

  • Philip Coltoff on why CAS is involved in this work
  • C. Warren Moses on the history of the CAS model
  • Sarah Jonas on after-school and summer enrichment programs
  • Andrew Seltzer on early childhood programs
  • Beverly Colon on school-based health services
  • Scott Bloom on mental health services
  • Yvonne Green on promoting community and economic development
  • Luis Malavé on partnership from a School Administrator's perspective
  • Hayin Kim on managing the growth of community schools
  • Jane Quinn on sustaining community schools
  • Clareann Grimaldi and Helene Clark on evaluating Children's Aid Society community schools
  • Janice Chu-Zhu on national and international adaptations of the CAS model
  • Thomas Payzant on extended service schools as a district-wide strategy
  • Steven Bingler on schools as centers of community
  • Martin Blank on reaching out to create a movement
  • Joy G. Dryfoos and Jane Quinn on looking to the future

About the Editors:

Joy G. Dryfoos, author of Safe Passage (OUP, 2000) and Adolescents at Risk (OUP, 1991), is an independent researcher and writer with a long interest in adolescent development and the prevalence and prevention of problem behaviors. She is one of the founders of the Coalition for Community Schools and the Boston Roundtable for Full Service Schools. Jane Quinn, a social worker with more than 30 years experience, currently serves as VP of Community Schools and Director of the National Center for Community Schools at The Children's Aid Society (CAS) in New York City. Previously, she directed a national study of community-based youth organizations for the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which resulted in the publication of A Matter of Time: Risk and Opportunity in the Nonschool Hours. Carol Barkin is a freelance editor with a particular interest in the social sciences and psychology. She is also the author of more than 40 fiction and non-fiction books for adults and children including When Your Kid Goes to College: A Parents' Survival Guide.


"The community schools model that Children's Aid Society has pioneered serves as a testimony to the impact that caring individuals and communities can have on the lives of those most in need."

  • Roxanne Spillett, President, Boys & Girls Clubs of America

"Community schools have much to teach us about what truly works for children and the communities that shape them. The lessons in this book are important ones for schools and communities everywhere."

  • Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund

"This helpful volume presents the case for community schools from various viewpoints. The authors avoid jargon and offer a determinedly practical approach emphasizing real world barriers and opportunities. I believe community schools are a key strategy for change in urban districts. Working intensively with parents transforms children's lives and opens the door for meaningful educational growth. Learning how this strategy worked in the nation's largest school district is inspiring."

  • Arne Duncan, Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Public Schools

"Joy Dryfoos is an insightful and experienced educator who makes the case for the value and necessity of community schools. Community schools - with a focus on academics, health and social services - offer the most promise for ensuring that every child can succeed and that we spend precious public dollars as efficiently and effectively as possible. Schools can and should be the centers of every community, and this book is a valuable guide for policymakers and practitioners alike."

  • Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, Democratic Whip

"The authors have captured the mounting interest in and crucial importance of community school efforts over the last decade. Never, in our nation's history, has it been so essential that the public and private sector, families, neighbors, business leaders and educators alike join together to focus on what has become this country's most urgent civil rights issue, educating our youth. And never before has it been so urgent that we use the best practices, research and experience of others to get there. Community schools lay the foundation for answering that call, and Community Schools in Action is the primer."

  • Hon. David N. Cicilline, Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island

"Community schools are gaining traction in school reform, thanks in large part to the work of researchers like Joy Dryfoos and institutions such as The Children's Aid Society. Community Schools in Action highlights what our kids need to be successful and holds out the promise that no matter how great the challenges, schools and communities can pool their resources to help children achieve."

  • Wendy Puriefoy, President, Public Education Network

"This volume is an essential resource for anyone interested in the community school movement."

  • Howard Adelman, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology & Co-director, School Mental Health Project/ Center for Mental Health in Schools, Department of Psychology, UCLA

"Community Schools in Action is a must read for those interested in starting a community school and those interested in understanding the community school movement. By moving back and forth between birdseye reflections on the movement and grounded case examples written by the staff of one of the most mature community schools in the country, pioneers Dryfoos, Quinn and Barkin guide us through the hows and whys of transforming a school into a true community resource."

  • Karen Pittman, Executive Director, The Forum for Youth Investment, Washington, D.C.

"In 2004, a national community school movement is alive and well and spreading across the country. With clarity, intelligence and passion, Joy Dryfoos, Jane Quinn, and their colleagues not only richly detail the struggles, successes and lessons derived from Children's Aid Society's extraordinary work to develop and sustain full-service community schools, but they also effectively place that work within the context of the national movement for community schools. Practitioners, policymakers, academics--indeed, all of us--concerned with creating a better future for America's children, families, and communities will learn much from Community Schools in Action. It is an important book that will make a difference."

  • Ira Harkavy, Chair, Coalition for Community Schools and Associate Vice President and Director, Center for Community Partnerships University of Pennsylvania