Brabeck Tapped for White House Panel

The White House/Congressional Conference on Character Building recently appointed Prof. Mary Brabeck (SOE) as co-chair of a task force examining ways to foster closer ties between schools and their host communities.

The White House Task Force on Community Schools, which includes leading national, state and local educators, academics, and school and community leaders, meets with the president and members of Congress to present policy recommendations regarding school-community links. It will convene in early June to continue its work on those suggestions and will present them later in the year.

Brabeck joined the task force last year and assisted in developing recommendations on community schools, which are increasingly regarded as critical sites for the delivery of services to children and families, she said. They offer extensive after-school programs, including parent education, day care and adolescent programs, she explained, which can be important for the enhancement of character and civic responsibility.

Prof. Mary Brabeck (SOE).

"Neighborhoods, especially in urban areas, are complicated," said Brabeck, who will become sole chairperson of the committee in a year. "Community schools provide a new, more complex approach to education, defining it more holistically. Because of this, they are seen more and more as a resource to the entire community. They try to involve the community in a deliberate and concerted manner to identify and meet the needs of children, youth and families."

Brabeck said her activities on the task force parallel her work with the University's Integrated Services Project and the new Center for Child, Family and Community Partnerships.

"We have a growing number of projects at Boston College involving integrated services and interprofessional collaboration," she said, "which puts us in a good position to make a contribution to this national effort."

-S.H.

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