When Mayor de Blasio wanted to find an innovative way to help at-risk kids, he called on experts throughout the city to help him. One of those experts was Deepmalya Ghosh, The Child Center’s associate executive director of youth development and community engagement. Ghosh was appointed to the mayor’s Community School Advisory Board, working this summer with de Blasio and 48 other local leaders to plan for the creation of 100 “community schools” in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
For kids to thrive in school and every part of their lives, they need the active support of their families and communities. Community schools are designed to foster that support by serving as hubs for a comprehensive range of services for the whole family: access to quality health care, mental health counseling, homework help and tutoring, and community activities, among others. In New York City, the first 40 will be piloted in existing schools that have the city’s lowest attendance rates.
To develop the community schools, said de Blasio in a statement, “we are turning to the people who know how to make these models work best.” Ghosh, who oversees The Child Center’s youth development programs, knows firsthand how well the community model works: The Child Center’s early childhood and after school programs are based on it. Principles that guide our work today grew out of our experience with The Child Center’s first community school, which Ghosh founded sixteen years ago in Flushing.
“We know that when we bring a neighborhood’s best resources together under one roof,” said Ghosh, “whole communities come together. School becomes a place where young people get engaged with learning, and families heal and grow.”