Communities In Schools of Central Texas site coordinator Jordan Chaplik works in Zavala Elementary School in Austin, Texas, where she leads the Zavala 4th Grade Girls Empowerment Group. Jordan reflected on the need for and impact of groups like hers and asked her young ladies to talk about what they’re made of and what they think are the greatest challenges young women face today in celebration of International Women’s Day 2019.
When I was told by my Communities In Schools coordinator, Ms. Luna, that I would be traveling to Washington, D.C. for the unveiling of my mosaic art piece, I couldn't believe it! I was so excited to travel somewhere I had never been before. When I arrived at D.C. I first felt out of my comfort zone; I was far away from Los Angeles, on a different coast, with different people. Having my mom and mentor there with me gave me the strength I needed to face all these new experiences.
Monique has found that the practices have helped her and her colleagues navigate repairing relationships between the harmer and the harmed. “With relationships come understanding, and when you really understand each other, bullying stops,” she says.
Both communities face similar challenges related to poverty: kids who drop out because they need to work; kids who must take care of younger siblings or sick family members; kids who have untreated health problems of their own that keep them out of school; or kids who are afraid to walk through their neighborhoods due to violence. Despite these challenges, Chanute’s graduation rate clocks in at 95 percent and Wake County at 89.1 percent. Both higher than the Kansas and North Carolina graduation rates, 90 percent and 87.9 percent, respectively.
There is no one solution for the problems as varied as the students who have them. But at the heart of every initiative is often a caring adult who take the time to find out why a student isn’t in class, then empowers the student to address their obstacle to attendance.
On September 12 The New York Times* reported that the detention of migrant children had skyrocketed to highest-ever levels. At 90% capacity, shelters like Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas, are straining to meet the legal requirements for detained youth, including those surrounding education. Any child living in the US, regardless of immigration status, is legally required to attend school. For the children still in detention centers, Southwest Key*--an immigration non-profit--has partnered with Brownsville Independent School District to bring teachers into their centers until sponsors—usually family members—have been identified for each detained child. But the children who have already been released to sponsors and who will start their local public schools, a different set of challenges lie ahead.
Communities In Schools of Troup County, Georgia, alum Fredrick Bailey is the first ever recipient of the Bill and Jean Milliken Fellowship. This annual fellowship seeks to advance CIS' collective work and give voice to the next generation of CIS leaders and thinkers, while honoring Bill and Jean Milliken’s unique contributions to this organization. This year’s fellowship is focused on how to prepare all students for college, career and civic engagement, a topic derived from the inaugural Milliken Dialogues.
A recent Brookings Institute literature review found that on average, students' achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month's worth of school-year learning. But for millions of students, it’s the educational relapse that occurs when school is out for the summer months. The U.S. Department of Education released a report in May of 2018 that highlighted the even greater backslide for students who may not have access to summer camps, libraries, zoos, aquariums, and museums due to location or socioeconomic status.
Ten innocent lives were lost in Santa Fe, Texas on Friday. This marks the 22nd school shooting this year including the mass casualty incidents in Parkland, Florida and now in Texas. No matter the scale, these incidents have traumatized our nation’s school children.
Communities In Schools hosted the inaugural Milliken Dialogues and Policy Summit on April 25, 2018 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.; the theme of which was college and career readiness. At the Summit, a new Gallup poll commissioned on behalf of Communities In Schools was released.
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