Joy Gidding Dryfoos

Passed away on March 18, 2012

Joy (Gidding) Dryfoos age 86, of Brookline, formerly of Hastings-on- Hudson, NY on Sunday March 18, 2012. Beloved wife of the late George Dryfoos. Loving mother of Paul Dryfoos & his wife Cindy Rodgers. Dear grandmother of Amy and Rose. Dear sister of the late Louis Gidding. Services at the Levine Chapel, 470 Harvard Street, Brookline on Wednesday, March 21 at 10:00a.m. Burial at the Westchester Hills Cemetery, 400 Saw Mill River Road, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY on Thursday March 22 at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Children’s Aid Society. 105 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

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 Boston’s 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.


  • Funeral Service Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Joy Gidding Dryfoos

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Chloe West

September 10, 2013

I'm sitting at my desk, more than a year after Joy's passing, but having only just learned of it. I first met Joy when I came to NY to speak at a CAS conference and just loved the experience of meeting Joy, Jane Quinn and colleagues. We emailed afterwards and a couple of years on, learning that she was to holiday in Rome with Paul and his family, I invited myself to join them. We had a ball: I was looking at the photos only the other day. I am so sorry that I dropped out of touch after that - but I thought of her often. For me, she was an inspiration, a life force, a force for good, a crusader for children and families, a visionary, a revolutionary, warmth, the most fun, a role model...Miss you Joy but may we all go on living out your inspiration and work in the world in your honour. Recently Paul tried to contact me on Linkedin but there is a technical problem with my account at present: I would love to hear from you Paul and indeed any friend of Joy's. Love and great memories - Chloe

Hersilia Méndez

January 12, 2013

It's been almost a year since Joy's passing, but her beautiful smile, and her inspiration still totally alive. I'm thankful that she crossed my path! Hersilia

Marta Gredler

May 4, 2012

May 4, 2012

I could not have asked for a better guide into the world of full service community schools than Joy. I had the unbelievable good fortune to meet Joy when I became the director of Boston's Full-service Schools Roundtable in 2007. While I 'knew' the fields of family engagement, out-of-school time, early childhood, and partnerships, it was Joy's vision and drive that was instrumental in developing a more comprehensive, coordinated, and integrated approach at the school and system level.

The memories I cherish most are hearing Joy's stories - both personal and work-related - about breaking down barriers and the time we spent 'on the road'. In particular was one visit to the MIT Museum where we played with and marveled at holograms and the latest engineering breakthough designs. Joy was a keen observer who opened my eyes and heart in ways that I will never forget.

Jacqui Darroch

March 23, 2012

How Joy will be missed! And, by those of us who worked with her to equalize access to safe and effective family planning and reproductive health services. Joy was a big part of setting that effort on a firm foundation of data and analysis - putting her caring and clear thinking to work to show policy makers and program folks what needed to be done.
Joy loved her family, George and Paul, cared about people, important and less recognized, and left her mark on us and our world.
Three cheers for Joy!

March 22, 2012

I only knew Joy by phone. We spoke several times about increasing the relationships between communities and schools. I really appreciated and valued our conversations. May strength, peace, and fond memories be with her family.
Dr. Debra R. Sullivan
Praxis Institute for Early Childhood Education
Seattle, Washington

March 21, 2012

The staff of the Center for School and Community Services of FHI 360 (formerly AED) deeply appreciate Joy's steady commitment and generous collegiality throughout the years. She was a thoughtful, critical friend to us in our work with adolescents and their school communities.

We send our sympathy to her family and know that we will continue to be guided by her wisdom and caring.

Patrick Montesano, Director, Center for School and Community Services, FHI 360

Susan Eacker

March 21, 2012

Joy was like the wonderful mother-in-law I never had. Brilliant and opinionated (but never in a shrill way) she made an enormous contribution to the world, to children, and to her own family. She will be greatly missed.
Susan Rodgers Eacker, Ph.D.

Jeffrey Newman

March 21, 2012

Joy was a dynamic leader for children, particularly those at risk. But her enormous contribution in that field was also matched by her gentle grace, her very real sense of humor and her always growing intelligence.

From her life in Hastings, to her leadership in Washington; from her social dinners that she and George led for so many years to her insightful creativity in the face of conventionalism, Joy was a special presence in the lives of so very many men, women and children. I will miss her, and our nation is an emptier place with her loss....Jeff Newman, National Child Labor Committee

Pete Moses

March 21, 2012

Joy,it has been a JOY. You helped to conceive and create how children are educated through community schools.Thanks to your knowledge of children and how they learn, your insightful and independent mind and importantly your bold determination have changed education for the better in ways that have set the stage for generations to come; a fine example of Margart Mead's admotion on how to change the world.
Truely, a Joy! Thanks RIP

chen wang

March 21, 2012

I was a lucky kid to get very close to Nana and talked about a broad range of issues like schooling and governments, as my 10th grade was spent living with Paul's family, when we made often visits to her. She always asked insightful questions and shared her life experiences with us kids. She had the wisdom and power to make everyone around her feel important and safe. I felt cheered and mind-stretched even taking a walk around summer cottage, when she'd used many humors and affirmative statements about observations, as if she was savoring the vacation or life at large. Seeing her last year was the best part after 10 years living far- away; it reassured me of her beautiful presence in personality and way of life. She was always elegant and joyful, as if forever holds an inquisitive mind to any topics we share. I will always remember her inspirational eyesight and lovely smile. The people who benefited from her books will always remember her contribution to education as well. I have the deepest respect for a spirit like Nana. Will always love you Nana.