To the Editor:
Cheryl D. Hayes and Richard R. Buery Jr.'s Commentary “Community Schools: Turning Costs Into Investments” (Aug. 21, 2013) offers both information and hope. As a former principal of a community school in Berkeley, Calif., I knew that services were greatly helping children and families. I always suspected that there were real savings in social-service costs, but could never actually prove it. We had an array of services, including dental, psychological, and food-shortage programs.
I was amazed at the number of children who needed dental services. We helped many children and families with counseling and often were able to keep small problems small. Families and children became stronger because of the food programs. The parents learned how to navigate services in the community and became advocates for their children.
Many programs come and go in education; however, community schools should expand and continue. These are programs that pay off in multiple ways for children and families.
A version of this article appeared in the October 16, 2013 edition of Education Week as Community Schools Give a Boost to Children and Their Families