Of all the Great Society programs, Head Start is perhaps the most popular. It provides center-based services to millions of very cute 3- and 4-year-olds, mostly children from disadvantaged families. If members of the public, educators, and policy makers know a single conclusion from educational research, it is that early-childhood programs have long-term positive impacts.
Why do we have so many children that choose not to read? As I pondered that question, I was watching a children's TV channel and decided to do some informal research. I decided to pay particular attention to the commercials being presented to our children.
Every day we hear stories about extraordinary women who stand up for children who are alone and neglected, women who have families of their own and take steps to adopt a child, take in a troubled teen, open their arms and homes to abandoned, sometimes sick babies.
My colleagues and I work in the schools that serve the very communities affected by the recent disturbances. The children who come to these schools start off bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, full of enthusiasm and confidence, like children everywhere. But then all too many of them experience failure. And all that motivation drains away.
Children are always in the moment. Watching them reminds us what it felt like when we were kids. We played too, we had fun, we were spontaneously in the moment... and we laughed. You remember that, right?
Basically, there are only so many tales of brave and adventurous white people that Hispanic kids can read. At some point, they disconnect.
As we wrap up National Volunteer Week, it's compelling to consider why it is that the word "just" is so often attached to the word "volunteers."
Two years ago The Pollination Project started a daily giving practice, making daily $1000 grants to social change visionaries around the world.
Those who read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to graduate from high school than those who don't. Being proficient in reading and graduating from high school are critical steps for success in our 21st century economy.
All told, the project reached approximately 180,000 people across two regions of the country. With this rising tide, and with new knowledge and skills to keep growing, communities can start distancing themselves from severe poverty and scarcity.
Bookstores don't only hold books, they hold promises. Promises for new adventures, where new people and characters enter our lives with fascinating stories to tell us.
When average length of stay is over a year and over half the families who leave shelter return, would it not make sense to address the gap in a parent's education while they wait for a viable housing option to become available?
Even with these improvements, one in five students is still not graduating on time, and the graduation rate remains 13.4 percentage points lower for black and Hispanic students than for white students.
I make a call out to everyone, not just teachers, to volunteer at their local literacy centers. It doesn't take much time, just a little training and a commitment of a couple hours a week. Become part of the solution and make yourself feel really good.
Just over two years ago The Pollination Project started a daily giving practice, making daily $1000 grants to social change visionaries around the world.
What are you reading? What was the last book you read? These are two of my favorite questions to ask in order to jump start a conversation with an old friend or a new acquaintance.