City Connects works with community partners to provide a wide array of services. Often this means helping students get necessities such as dental careor beds. But sometimes our community partners also provide inspiring role models.
That’s the case withStrong Women, Strong Girls, a nonprofit organization based in Boston and Pittsburgh. The organization provides school girls with college-age mentors, and the mentors can themselves be mentored by career women.
The college mentors visit the schools once a week to meet with a group of girls.
“Each mentoring session, we highlight one strong woman,” Madison Banker explains. Banker is a college mentor, part of a group of students from Northeastern University who meet with Boston students. Mentors come from a number of colleges including Tufts University, Harvard University, Boston College, and Simmons College Continue reading →
The good news is that high school graduation rates have risen steadily in the United States. In 2016,84.1 percent of students graduated, up from79 percent in 2011.
But that’s not high enough for the national nonprofit America’s Promise Alliance — which is why the alliance has launched GradNation, a campaign to raise the national graduation rate to 90 percent.
That will mean helping students who face some of the toughest obstacles, from severe anxiety and hunger to violence and serious health issues.
“The data shows us that to accelerate progress to a national high school graduation rate of 90 percent, we must meet the needs of young people whose lives feature the greatest complexity and we must employ diverse systems and supports,” GradNation’s website says.
School climate ismaking headlines – and peaking the interest of researchers and policymakers. So earlier this month, we caught up with Anastasia Raczek and asked her to explain what school climate is and how it relates to City Connects’ work.
“School climate means lots of different things to different people. But we’re beginning to get more specific about it, and we do know a lot about what it seems to lead to,” Raczek said. As the Associate Director of Evaluation & Research, she helps lead an independent team that works to evaluate and improve City Connects. The team is based in the Center for Optimized Student Support, part of Boston College’s Lynch School of Education.
In December, Raczek spoke at an event on school climate that was organized by the Rennie Center and co-hosted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, MassINC, Boston University, and Boston College. Conference participants discussed the connection between school climate and student success. A related policy brief is posted here. Continue reading →
As the Boston Globe reported last year, “The sprawling drug crisis, which public health officials have described as the worst in American history, has touched nearly every part of society. But the burden has perhaps fallen hardest on children, creating a new generation of foster youth and placing extraordinary strain on the child welfare system.”
In Salem, where City Connects is in all nine of the cities public elementary schools, “we’ve seen at least three parent deaths this school year as a result of the opioid crisis in just our PreK-8 schools,” Ellen Wingard, Salem’s City Connects Program Manager, reports.Continue reading →