As the article explains, teachers know that children living in poverty often face a long list of challenges, including hunger, homelessness, family chaos, and obesity.
Citing Charles E. Bach’s “Healthier Students are Better Learners,” the article notes, “No matter how well teachers are prepared to teach, no matter what accountability measures are put in place, no matter what governing structures are established for schools, educational progress will be profoundly limited if students are not motivated and able to learn.” Continue reading →
City Connects is constantly learning. We learn from the experiences of our City Connects coordinators and the national array of schools and communities in which we work. And because City Connects is based in Boston College’s Lynch School of Education, we are also learning from different scientific fields about how we can make City Connects better. Once we have this knowledge, we go out and share it.
This cycle of learning was on display last week when Agnes Chung and Romita Mitra – both graduate students at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education – went to a Harvard Graduate School of Education conference to share two research posters about City Connects. The theme of the conference was “Spanning the Divide: Building Bridges through Research.” Continue reading →
“Developmental science illuminates risks to child development and learning, as well as opportunities for meaningful intervention.”
“This research provides insight into why experiences like poverty and trauma can inhibit learning, and what can be done to counteract their effects.” These insights come from the sciences of psychology, human development, cognitive science, and neurobiology.
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These are some of the things we’ve been reading about:
• Representative Bobby Scott (D-Virginia) has called for investing billions of dollars in “disconnected” youth – those who are not in school and not working – to help them get high school diplomas and workforce counseling and training.
• Less advantaged students tend to benefit from their teachers’ encouragement.
• How stereotypes can hurt Asian students.
• Exposure to lead can affect children for decades.
Since 2001, City Connects has offered a way for schools to address the out-of-school factors that affect children’s learning inside school. The right set of school-based and community resources can help children cope with these outside challenges so that they can learn and thrive.
Over time, City Connects has built a record of success. In city after city, City Connects helps schools improve students’ attendance, effort, and grades. City Connects narrows achievement gaps and reduces high school dropout rates.
This work has become even more important as more children across the country face more challenges. Nationally, 52 percent of children in our public schools are eligible for Free or Reduced-price Lunch, a measure of low-income status that overlaps with known barriers to learning.
What we are learning through City Connects can help us to serve growing numbers of students. We help address children’s comprehensive needs so they are ready to learn and engage in school. Continue reading →