SCHOOLS BECOME CENTERS FOR COMMUNITY SOCIAL SERVICES

The Family Resource Center of the Killingly (Conn.) Public Schools is based on the "School of the 21st Century" concept devised by Edward Zigler, director of the Bush Center for Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

Dr. Zigler, who helped develop the Head Start program in the '60s, advocates having public schools serve as both education and social-service centers in the community.

"It's a real reaching out of what a school means," says Paul Vivian, coordinator of the program for Connecticut's Department of Human Services.

"The School of the 21st Century concept addresses a lot of the issues that we had been working at in a very frustrated way for a number of years," says Killingly Superintendent David Cressy.

About 200 schools in Connecticut, Kentucky, Missouri, Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming are using Zigler's approach. The program is known under different names across the United States.

Connecticut now has eight Family Resource Centers and is spending $875,000 for fiscal year 1991. "In the long run the investment is going to be less expensive in that more children have the potential of coming to school ready to learn," says Mr. Cressy.

"One of the best ways to create effective schools is to get parental involvement," Mr. Vivian says. The Family Resource Center helps schools "get parents involved before their children even enter the building as kindergartners."

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