New York Times: While Hispanic children make up nearly a quarter of the United States’ public school population, they’re having trouble finding likenesses of themselves in reading materials in classrooms and libraries. Many of today’s popular book titles feature main characters who are white. And according to numerous education experts, this results in Hispanic students feeling unable to connect with and get invested in the stories they’re reading.
“Kids do have a different kind of connection when they see a character who looks like them or they experience a plot or a theme that relates to something they’ve experienced in their lives,” said Jane Fleming, an assistant professor at the Erikson Institute, a graduate school in early childhood development in Chicago.
In response, publishers are beginning to promote titles that more accurately reflect today’s classroom demographics. For instance, Simon & Schuster is rolling out a series for girls with a Hispanic protagonist. And Houghton Mifflin allocates a specific percentage of its published content to feature Hispanic characters.
UNICEF: Making education accessible to all, regardless of economic status, is truly an international issue. In 2010, the global population of those between the ages of 15 and 24 reached one billion, and according to Pauline Rose, director of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, many of these young people are not learning the skills necessary to succeed as adults. In an enlightening podcast with UNICEF, Rose discusses what needs to be done by both local communities and national governments to help children get the education they need to attain viable careers.
Across the United States, Communities In Schools focuses on preparing young people for life after high school graduation. Our site coordinators take students on college visits, help students with college and financial aid applications, and provide career-building opportunities such as visits to professional offices, internships, and job shadowing experiences.
Huffington Post: A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation revealed that nearly 6.5 million teenagers and young adults in the United States are neither in school nor working. According to the “Kids Count” report, the number of unemployed youth in the country has reached its highest level since World War II. And these young people are not only having trouble finding viable careers — they’re having trouble finding entry-level jobs in places such as restaurants and grocery stores, where they can learn ground-level professional skills necessary to succeed in the adult workforce.
As these young people continue to face barriers due to economic status and lack of education, the nation is at risk of facing a huge boom in chronic unemployment.
“All young people need opportunities to gain work experience and build the skills that are essential to being successful as an adult,” Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, said in a statement. “Ensuring youth are prepared for the high-skilled jobs available in today’s economy must be a national priority, for the sake of their future roles as citizens and parents, the future of our workforce and the strength of our nation as a whole.”