Ask a few parents today, and they’ll probably tell you they believe every child should have access to a quality education. Poor children too often receive a poor education. And, as This American Life’s two-part podcast “The Problem We All Live With” showed us, abandoning efforts to desegregate schools also serves to widen the achievement gap. Consider just a few of the facts from DoSomething.org:
- 40 percent of children living in poverty aren’t prepared for primary schooling,
- 16- to 24-year-old students who come from low-income families are seven times more likely to drop out than those from families with higher incomes, and
- fewer than 30 percent of students in the bottom quarter of incomes enroll in a four-year school. Among that group—less than 50 percent graduate.
In the face of such significant statistics, what can we do? As people of faith, we are the hands and feet of Jesus in the world, so where—and how—do we step in? While our children and grandchildren and neighborhood children head back to school, what about the rest of us? What small things can we do to serve those students, teachers, and schools in our counties, that struggle against the odds? Here are a few suggestions: (click through to read the full article…)