New York Times: A recent New York Times analysis revealed that while the New York City public school system initially appears racially diverse, in reality the schools are highly segregated. About 650 of the nearly 1,700 schools in the system have populations that are 70 percent a single race. This causes many students to live in what the author of the article calls a “hermetic reality;” studies have shown that not giving students the opportunity to learn with children of other races and cultures eventually erodes their academic progress and leaves them unprepared for the diversity of life outside the classroom. While the article offers little in the way of solutions to this problem, we all must do more to make sure children are exposed to a wide variety of cultures and races. Not only so that they are better prepared to compete in the global market, but also to open their minds to the wide world of opportunities around them.
Chronicle of Philanthropy: This month, Indiana University handed out the United States’ first bachelor’s degrees in philanthropic studies. According to Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy, the philanthropic studies degree is a liberal arts program designed to produce future nonprofit leaders who are not only well-versed in the day-to-day operations of nonprofit management, but also comfortable with weighing the philosophical questions they may encounter. Communities In Schools always makes sure students receiving our services know about the value of philanthropy and giving back. In fact, giving back to peers and community is one of our Five Basics. It’s wonderful to see a college major dedicated to the subject!
GOOD: Nonprofit organization Truck Farm Chicago is taking the term “food truck” quite seriously. A Ford truck with a small garden in the truck bed, Truck Farm Chicago drives back and forth across the city to teach children and their families about the environment and healthy eating. In a city where childhood obesity exceeds the national average, this is an extremely important lesson to impart. Communities In Schools works hard to make sure children understand the value of healthy eating as well. Our affiliates work with local organizations such as food banks to provide cooking classes so that children know how to make their own healthy meals. We also have community gardens across the nation, giving students and their families access to a constant supply of fresh fruits and vegetables.