In 1992, Children’s Aid launched a program that seemed, at the time, experimental and cutting edge: we put counselors, a doctor, and other human services into a school. We called it a community school.
When this happened at I.S. 218, in Washington Heights, David Dinkins was the mayor, the vast majority of people had no idea what email was, and a gallon of gas was $1.05. Things have changed, but our conviction remains that children, youth, and families are best positioned to succeed when you provide them with easy access to the tools and resources that build well-being.
Last week, more than 100 people—current students, community school alums, Children’s Aid staff current and former, education activists, and more—gathered in Morningside Heights to celebrate the rich history of community schools and the belief that the best is yet to come.
“There is always a way when you know what you’re doing is right,” said Judy Dimon, a longtime supporter of Children’s Aid community schools. “Everyone here has demonstrated the power of community schools.”
The community school strategy is all about partnership. Without it, they won’t succeed, nor will the young people who depend on the help they get through their community school. We’re committed to this strategy the boundless potential of our children and youth.