Joy G. Dryfoos, an internationally recognized researcher and advocate for full-service community schools, died on March 18th at her home in Brookline, Massachusetts. She was 86. Ms. Dryfoos is credited with originating the concept of full-service community schools. According to the Coalition for Community Schools there are now 5,000 such schools in operation serving more than 5 million children world-wide. According to the 2002 Encyclopedia of Education, The modern history of full-service schools must be traced to Joy Dryfoos. Recently, Congressman Steny Hoyer, Minority Whip of the United States House of Representatives, wrote that Ms. Dryfoos landmark book Full Service Schools: A Revolution in Health and Social Services for Children, Youth and Families, published in 1994, inspired him to become an advocate for full service community schools. In his comment on the cover of that book, the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy wrote Full-service schools are the school of the future. As Joy Dryfoos makes clear, more services under the school roof mean better education too. Putting real social services in schools means more teachers can stop being part-time social workers and start being full-time teachers again. Ms. Dryfoos was the author of seven books and more than 100 articles on adolescent development and collaborative service models for ensuring that children are healthy and ready to learn. She was a co-founder of the national Coalition for Community Schools and Bostons Full-Service Schools Roundtable, and served on the steering committees of both organizations. From 1969-1981, Ms. Dryfoos was Director of Research and Planning for the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York, which was the research and policy affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She led several landmark studies documenting the epidemic of adolescent pregnancy, and was instrumental in developing the national policy agenda around teen pregnancy prevention. In 1981, she became an independent researcher and writer supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and continued as an independent researcher and writer for the remainder of her life. Ms. Dryfoos received her B.A. from Antioch College and her MA in Urban Sociology from Sarah Lawrence College. Ms. Dryfoos was married to the late George E. Dryfoos, who died in 2002. They lived most of their adult lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. They are survived by their son, Paul, daughter-in-law Cindy Rodgers and two granddaughters, Amy and Rose, all of Brookline.
Published in The Brookline Tab from Mar. 21 to Mar. 28, 2012