We are community members who recognize that through the focused use of donated time, money and other resources, we can raise the academic trajectory of every student. Students who lack any of the assets needed to learn effectively are unlikely to arrive in class prepared to learn. This reduces teacher effectiveness and course rigor. Our mission is to eliminate persistent achievement and opportunity gaps enabling all students to arrive in class prepared to learn. We will do this by:
Advocacy: Our tax dollars provide well equipped schools staffed with
skilled teachers who work tirelessly to help each student achieve his
or her full academic potential. However, much of the work and learning must be done
- Ensuring that all students have ample access to the resources needed to learn effectively outside if the school day
- Staffing study tables with trained volunteers who are passionate about helping others learn
- Partnering with teachers, counselors, administrators, students and parents to support learning and to eliminate the practice of allowing students to "opt out" of completing assignments
outside of the school day when many
students lack ample access to the resources needed to learn effectively. For all students to have an equal opportunity to learn, schools and the resources they house need to be available to support student learning when school is not in session. New school/community partnerships are needed to provide the human and material resources required to make comprehensive academic support accessible to every student. Today in our district, students from low income families are at twice the risk of dropping out of school as their non-low income counterparts. This is just one example of an inequity that can be significantly reduced through school/community partnerships.
Schools, foundations, corporations, parent groups and individuals currently fund a patchwork of academic support programs. These important programs meet a wide range of needs, but lack the capacity, frequency, duration and resources that students need to excel. The community can leverage existing school district and donor investments by securing the additional funding needed to operate a comprehensive, year-round, academic support program. The cost to keep a building open for academic support is less than $20 per hour. This pays for a district employee who provides access to the building and program oversight. This sets the stage for teams of community volunteers to come and work with students on homework completion, much as parents do in many households. With financial support from the community, we can provide every student with access to the support needed to succeed academically.
Once funding is secured to open a building after hours, on weekends or over a vacation period, a team of volunteers is needed to provide students with the academic support and mentoring needed to master course content. Community members with varying amounts of education and a strong desire to give back to the community by helping others learn are needed to work with students. Those who are less certain of their academic skills can work with students on flashcards, spelling words, vocabulary, reading fluency and comprehension. Those with higher levels of ability are paired with students in need of the skills they possess. Because we are supporting students of all ages and in all subjects, from reading, writing and arithmetic through high school AP courses, literally everyone in the community can help.
Why it matters:
Far too many students in our schools spend years struggling academically. With ample access to all of the resources needed to learn, even those who are behind can catch up and it is reasonable to hold students accountable for completing their work and mastering course content. All students will benefit from these programs through increased teacher effectiveness and course rigor.
Think of it, a school library or classroom filled with students actively learning with the support of a single paid employee and a team of trained volunteers in technology laden schools that would otherwise be sitting idle. That is
truly leveraging the community's investment in education!