Perspectives — The Power of Family
By Jim Wambach | April 20, 2022
“If there is one thing educators can agree on, it’s this: children do better in school when their parents get involved in their learning.”— William Bennett
Imagine you’re a third-grade teacher trying to teach a third-grade curriculum while 67% of your class are two or more grade levels behind in their reading skills. On top of that, 74% of the class are two or more grade levels behind their foundational math skills. Where do you begin? How do you avoid leaving eager children behind?
This is the dilemma the teachers in our schools face this year.
Now, imagine you are one of those third-graders, three grade levels behind, and you are NOT catching up very quickly. You enter fourth grade, then fifth, with low self-confidence and become increasingly frustrated. When it is time to move into middle school, you are unprepared to learn at a higher level in a new environment with new friends.
This is the dilemma children in our schools have faced for many years, but now more than ever.
In 2006, we recognized an urgent need for children to have nourishing food over the weekend, and Health4Kids became part of the solution. As a community, we must now have that same high sense of urgency to help the children catch up from the unprecedented learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a teacher, you can see the difference in kids who have parents who were involved. That difference, by the time these kids get to the third grade, is drastic.”— Jenna Bush
Without a concerted effort to provide the kids additional support in elementary school, we fear an increase in the number of eager children who will eventually disengage academically. In the coming years, we are at high risk of a tremendous rise in the failure rate of the children in our local neighborhoods.
Part of the solution is home empowerment. As a community, we must provide the necessary educational tools, training, and support for parents. Doing so will empower them to be more skilled and confident in helping their children learn at home.
By strengthening the team supporting these amazing children—parents, teachers, and tutors—many more will become active, confident learners and thrive in school instead of dropping out.