Have I mentioned before how much I love the community school idea? I mean, what a great way to tie together so many of the different threads that need to be in place for children of poverty to succeed. Not least of those being helping to address the problems that the adults may be facing.
A recent article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (about a community school in Boston, oddly), included the line, "as a result of helping parents, schools can relieve children of some of the non-academic baggage that's making it hard for them to learn." Spot on. Help the whole child and the whole family and you're going to see results for the kids. It just makes sense.
The article is actually a pretty good one. It does a good job explaining the rationale for community schools, the work that goes into operating one, and the results that can be derived from doing so. It's not that long either, so you can read it even if you're in a rush.
The bottom line is that community schools take a ton of work from creative, driven people in order to function. It takes looking beyond the traditional role of a school and seeking to embody more. But, really, isn't that what we need right now? We know where the traditional model has gotten us, both for better or worse. Especially for schools in poor areas, we need anything that will add more to the better column.