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News Article

Children's Aid Society Community Schools Focus on Early Learning

05/17/10

The Children’s Aid Society’s (a National Technical Assistance Partner of the Coalition) early childhood initiative is being implemented in two New York City Community Schools, P.S. 5 and P.S. 8, located in the Washington Heights section of northern Manhattan. This initiative is designed as a partnership between the New York City Department of Education and Children’s Aid, this collaboration brings expectant families, newborns and families with children up to age five into the schools in which the children will complete fifth grade.

The initiative began in 1994 and has been in full operation since 1996. Since then, the need for such an effort has been confirmed by research, and experience has provided insights into how a program for pregnant women and children through age five (often called a Zero to Five Program) can be effectively implemented within a public school. Our program connects two federally funded interventions – Early Head Start (expectant families to age three) and Head Start (ages three to five) – as well as privately funded initiatives to provide comprehensive educational and social services to low-income families and their children.

The program engages a primarily Latino population, confronting the obstacles of all new immigrant families living in poverty in an urban setting. Half of the families come from the Dominican Republic, 35% from Mexico, 10% from other Central and South American countries and another 5% from other areas. Language barriers and acculturation often result in social isolation. In addition, because many residents lack legal documentation, they are reluctant to access health and social services. The connection that develops between the family and the school, as a result of participation in the Program, creates a sense of comfort for families who often are unfamiliar with or fearful of public institutions. Read the full article...

Children's Aid is also the technical assistance partner for the Coalition's Early Childhood and Community Schools Linkages Project.

Children's Aid Society Community Schools Focus on Early Learning
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