Links to organizations that have extensive and quality collections of Community School/ Community Building resources: (For example, books, periodicals, online Professional Development, case studies, conferences, discussion blogs and tool kids).
- The National Center for Community Schools: Children’s Aid Society.
The National Center for Community Schools and the Children’s Aid Society defines a community school as 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 the center of the community, open to everyone, all day, every day, evenings and weekends.
The National Center for Community Schools states that community schools represent a strategy, not a program. Partners and stakeholders come together to agree on a set of results for children that they will achieve together. They develop a coordination system to share leadership and connect children and families with opportunities, services, and resources. They share accountability for results. They transform schools and communities.
Check out this Virtual Site Tour of this exemplary Children’s Aid Societies Community School (Intermediate School 218 in Washington Heights): http://nationalcenterforcommunityschools.childrensaidsociety.org/resources/virtual-site-visit
- The Coalition for Community Schools.
The Coalition for Community Schools, housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership, is an alliance of national, state and local organizations in education K-16, youth development, community planning and development, family support, health and human services, government and philanthropy as well as national, state and local community school networks. Community schools are both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. There are a number of national models and local community school initiatives that share a common set of principles: fostering strong partnerships, sharing accountability for results, setting high expectations, building on the community’s strengths, and embracing diversity and innovative solutions.
Resources can be found at: http://www.communityschools.org
- ACEbc The Association of Community Education in British Columbia: http://www.acebc.org
- The ASCD in general and in particular the ASCD Whole Child Initiative: http://www.ascd.org/whole-child.aspx
ASCD helps educators, families, community members, and policymakers move from a vision about educating the whole child to sustainable, collaborative action.
A few Community School/ Community Building books that I recommend:
- Community: The Structure of Belonging written by Peter Block
- Building School-Community Partnerships: Collaboration for Student Success written by Mavis G. Sanders
- Improving Schools Through Community Engagement: A practical Guide for Educators written by Kathy Gardner Chadwick
- Neighbor Power: Building Community the Seattle Way written by Jim Diers.