Children's Aid Secures Major Grants to Expand Community School Programs

The Children’s Aid Society is proud to announce awards of $2.5 million in grants from the New York State Education Department to greatly expand existing community school programs. Five community schools will each receive $500,000 over three years, beginning on July 1, 2014, as part of the state’s Community Schools Grant Initiative Competition.

“We are excited to see the state embracing the community school strategy that we pioneered two decades ago in order to provide vulnerable children with the support services they needed to succeed academically,” said William Weisberg, interim president and CEO of Children’s Aid Society. “These grants are a testament to Governor Cuomo and the New York State Education Department’s commitment to improving educational opportunities in underserved communities. Coming on the heels of last week’s announcement by Mayor de Blasio establishing dozens of new community schools in the city, it’s clear that these services can and will play a major role in New York’s education reform strategy. We are eager to be a leader on this front and to partner with the organizations and government agencies that will be advancing the effort to implement the community schools strategy across the city and state.”

The grants went to the community schools at the following New York City schools:

  • M.S. 324, Washington Heights
  • Curtis High School, Staten Island
  • P.S. 8 Luis Belliard, Washington Heights
  • C.S. 61 Francisco Oller, the Bronx
  • P.S. 152 Dyckman Valley, Washington Heights

The grants will fund enhanced resource coordination so that every child in the school is assessed across four key areas of development—academics, social emotional development, health, and family stability. At the root of this expansion is a partnership with City Connects, a Boston organization that optimizes student support by providing every student with a multidimensional plan based on assessments by a collaboration of professionals. A specially trained resource coordinator directs the plan and arrives at a customized set of interventions that are most responsive to the strengths and needs of each participant.  

In addition, Children’s Aid will bring to Curtis High School two components of the CAS-Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, an evidence-based program that for nearly 30 years has dramatically reduced teen birth rates and increased the likelihood of high school graduation.

A community school is a strategy for organizing the resources of the school and the community around student success. It is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, services, supports, and opportunities leads to improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone —all day, evenings and Saturdays, year round.

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 help children in poverty to succeed and thrive. We do this by providing comprehensive supports to children and their families in targeted high-needs New York City neighborhoods. 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 Anthony Ramos at (212) 949-4938/ (917) 204-8214, email or visit

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