Preparing Our Children to Learn
A great education can open doors to innumerable opportunities for a child. A quality primary and secondary school education can create the condition for a successful life. However too many of our families and communities are burdened by challenges that significantly impact their ability to provide for their children’s education. Our classrooms are overcrowded and filled with hungry children. In our district, 68% of students qualify for free-or-reduced lunches, which means their family incomes are at or below the federal poverty line.
Our children are exposed to abnormal amounts of trauma begetting violence. Access to proper dental and medical care is deficient for many children. Even highly-engaged and committed parents often cannot provide their children with healthy meals, safe streets and parks, technology, quality health care, and enrichment programs beyond the school day.
Consequently, many children start their educational career excited to learn, but unprepared to learn. Within a few short years, our once enthusiastic children are disengaged and on the path toward dropping out of school. These are the statistical outcomes for too many of our children. The result leaves our communities bereft of their most precious resource — children growing into adults with dreams and ambitions to lead and support the community.
Since a quality K-12 education is a precursor to a successful life for the vast majority of us, it is imperative that we address the underlying issues that exist in our schools, community and families that prevent our children from
being prepared to learn.