Today’s post comes from the National Office of Communities In Schools.
When a youth is in need of help, Communities In Schools builds a team of compassionate professionals in order to surround him or her with a community of support. Site coordinators, mentors, tutors, healthcare providers, social workers, and other people are on-hand 24/7 to give them everything they need to succeed in school and achieve in life.
But there’s one group considered to be the keystone in a child’s community of support: family.
A student can receive countless resources from Communities In Schools, but the uphill climb towards graduation becomes a lot steeper without a parent or guardian to provide unconditional love and positive reinforcement. Which is why we were so excited to learn about the new data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent Survey of Income and Program Participation, which shows that more low-income parents than ever are becoming invested in their children’s academic success.
Sheila Smith, the early-childhood director for the New York City-based National Center for Children in Poverty, said in an Education Week article that the new data are an optimistic surprise.
“We might almost expect the opposite trend because of the economic pressures,” she said. “When parents are under greater economic pressure, they may have less time and be under more stress and risk of depression.”
The data, which come from interviews with a nationally representative sample of more than 42,000 households in 2009, revealed that children are spending more time with their parents than they did in 1998. This includes important social and academic development activities such as reading together, eating dinner together, and play time.
In addition, the Census Bureau found that more parents are not only wanting, but expecting, their sons and daughters to graduate from high school and college. While fewer than half of low-income parents in 1998 expected their children to attain an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, in 2009, 54 percent expected to see their children academically succeed.
Echoing the Census Bureau’s hopeful data, last yea r more than 200,000 parents, families and guardians of the students served participated in their children’s education through opportunities provided by Communities In Schools. That includes everything from group counseling to participating in after-school activities and bonding events. We work with families as much and as often as possible to make sure that the children we support are getting all the TLC they require, both in the classroom and in the home.
The resources and support Communities In Schools provides to students are extremely important, but the love of a parent or guardian is always priceless.