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School, Center Band Together

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School, center band together

MONDAY APR 30 1979

Neither the skills of reading, writing and math nor the ability to interact socially and survive the pitfalls of life qualify alone as education.

A hand-in-glove relationship between the Ann Arbor Community Center and Northside Elementary school since 1975 is a realization of this.

The Community Center has just opened a branch in a portable classroom at Northside School.

At the invitation of Northside School, the Community Center has been gradually providing more social services to the Northside neighborhood. The center provides individual counseling, group work services and substance abuse education and prevention.

WHEN the Northside Neighborhood Center folded in 1975, Harry Mial, principal of Northside School, recognized, "a greater community-school effort is required to assist school children meet the challenges of learning and social living.

"Very often the problems children have in learning are caused by the lack of adequate social stimulation, problems in the home, peer relationships and the lack of positive direction."

Washtenaw United Way, of which the Community Center is a member agency, last year agreed with the center and school that center services be extended to Northside. With this green light, Ann Arbor Public Schools agreed to lease a portable classroom to the center in exchange for social services. 

THE PORTABLE classroom will be used for social welfare services and as meeting space for community meetings.

"There are no multi-purpose agencies anywhere around there and that's why we're going," said Walter Hill, director of the Community Center.

Hill concedes that the neighborhood immediately surrounding the Ann Arbor Community Center is "neighborhood in transition and this is an attempt to stay with the people."

The $8,500 cost of moving the portable classroom to the school site and hooking up utilities is being paid for by money raised by a center drive spearheaded by center board member Charles Gelman, president of Gelman Sciences Corporation.

The center branch office was formally opened Friday in ceremonies involving Center President Jim Bradley Jr., Robert Potts, assistant superintendent for human relations. Robert Kerschbaum, head of Washtenaw United Way, Mial and Gelman. The Outreach Services office is being coordinated by Ann Hawkins.

Walter Hill, left, Robert Potts and Ann Hawkins in center's north side branch