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Community Schools in ActionLessons from a Decade of Practice$
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Joy G. Dryfoos, Jane Quinn, and Carol Barkin

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195169591

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195169591.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 September 2021

Why The Children’s Aid Society Is Involved in This Work

Why The Children’s Aid Society Is Involved in This Work

(p.7) 1 Why The Children’s Aid Society Is Involved in This Work
Community Schools in Action

Philip Coltoff

Oxford University Press

The Children’s Aid Society (CAS), founded in 1853, is one of the largest and oldest child and family social-welfare agencies in the country. It serves 150,000 children and families through a continuum of services—adoption and foster care; medical, mental health, and dental services; summer and winter camps; respite care for the disabled; group work and recreation in community centers and schools; homemaker services; counseling; and court mediation and conciliation programs. The agency’s budget in 2003 was approximately $75 million, financed almost equally from public and private funds. In 1992, after several years of planning and negotiation, CAS opened its first community school in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. If you visit Intermediate School (IS) 218 or one of the many other community schools in New York City and around the country, it may seem very contemporary, like a “school of the future.” Indeed, we at CAS feel that these schools are one of our most important efforts in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Yet community schools trace their roots back nearly 150 years, as previous generations tried to find ways to respond to children’s and families’ needs. CAS’s own commitment to public education is not new. When the organization was founded in the mid-nineteenth century by Charles Loring Brace, he sought not only to find shelter for homeless street children but to teach practical skills such as cobbling and hand-sewing while also creating free reading rooms for the enlightenment of young minds. Brace was actively involved in the campaign to abolish child labor, and he helped establish the nation’s first compulsory education laws. He and his successors ultimately created New York City’s first vocational schools, the first free kindergartens, and the first medical and dental clinics in public schools (the former to battle the perils of consumption, now known as tuberculosis). Yet this historic commitment to education went only so far. Up until the late 1980s, CAS’s role in the city’s public schools was primarily that of a contracted provider of health, mental health, and dental services.

Keywords:   Brace, Charles Loring, Carnegie Corporation of New York, community school model, Coltoff, Philip, Fernandez, Chancellor Joseph, community schools, Hoyer, Steny, Immigrant communities and cultures, Litow, Stanley, Public education, developing the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) concept, September, Statement of support, Children’s Aid Society (CAS)

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