To the Editor:
Sarah M. Fine’s Commentary “Community Schools: Reform’s Lesser-Known Frontier” (Feb. 3, 2010) was a welcome addition to the growing recognition of such schools as a significant model.
Full-service community schools are a response to the simple and sad fact that schools alone cannot do it all. They cannot take care of all the needs of today’s children, yet unless their needs are addressed, children cannot learn. Placing a mental-health worker in a school can, for example, make a huge difference in academic outcomes, as well as in students’ behavior. Providing parents with the skills they need to help their children succeed can be accomplished by school-based programs initiated by community agencies.
The Coalition for Community Schools has brought together dynamic innovators and education policymakers, child-care specialists and community activists, academics and after-school workers. The key to moving forward is communication. If we really want to save the children during this stressful economic and social time, we’d better get together.
A version of this article appeared in the February 24, 2010 edition of Education Week as Community School Model: Help in Stressful Times