What We’re Reading is a weekly series on Beyond the Classroom that highlights recent news and research that informs Communities In Schools’ work to help students succeed.
Communities In Schools of East Texas Site Coordinator Nancy Essary collaborates with a local church to make sure students are fed during long school breaks.
NPR: A growing number of children across the United States rely on free or reduced-priced lunches from schools for healthy meals. But what happens when school is out for the holidays? How do students eat? NPR’s “All Things Considered” explores how local organizations help close the gap when it comes to free meals for students, so no one goes hungry.
Huffington Post: The Great Recession of 2008 was a tough time to graduate from college. The job market was in a severe downturn, and recent grads found themselves struggling to find substantial work, pay off their loans, and strike out on their own. But according to a recent study by the Pew Economic Mobility Project, while many young adults were faced with uncertain futures after receiving their bachelor’s degrees, it was worse for young people who didn’t have degrees at all. Results from the study showed that the unemployment rate for people in their early 20s with college degrees was lower than that of people in the same age range who only had a high school education, even for low-wage jobs like waiting tables and working in retail.
Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. Photo courtesy NASA.
Chronicle of Philanthropy: A new study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation revealed that in 2010, 15.7 million children in the United States lived below the poverty line. This is a marked increase from the Foundation’s 2005 study of the same subject, and signifies the long-term effects of the 2007-2009 recession.
As people across the country deal with unemployment or underemployment, their children struggle to gain access to the resources they need to succeed. During the 2010-2011 school year, 87 percent of the 1.26 million children Communities In Schools served were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Our site coordinators work around the clock to make sure students get everything they need to survive and thrive, including food, medical care and clothing. We also make sure their emotional needs are met during this stressful time by providing mentors, counselors and more.
Education Week: This week is the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. In connection with the conference, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new statistics about the spread of HIV and AIDS in the United States and their effect on our youth. As of 2009, people ages 15-29 make up 21 percent of the U.S. population; but they account for 39 percent of all new HIV infections. And according to the CDC, while about half of all teens report they are sexually active, only 60 percent of those having sex report using condoms.
The Education Week article offers an enlightening look at how sex education differs in schools across the United States, and asks whether or not promoting abstinence-only programs is what’s best for today’s students.
GOOD: This week we said goodbye to Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. Since her historic journey on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983, Ride has served as a powerful role model for young women with a passion for science, technology, engineering and math. She was a leader in the fight to break down gender barriers and promote the role of women in STEM subjects. Among many speaking engagements and initiatives, in 2001 Ride and other female scientists founded Sally Ride Science, a company dedicated to producing classroom materials and programs for students that promote diversity in the workplace.