Professor Eric Dearing conducted research that looked at how immigrant children do in City Connects schools. Dearing is a professor in the department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology in Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. He’s also a faculty adviser to the City Connects Evaluation Team.
“Poverty affects not only the amount and quality of learning support a child receives, but also the likelihood of experiencing stress, chaos, and violence,” Dearing explained last year in the journal Child Development. “For immigrant children, these risks may be aggravated by language barriers, documentation status, and discrimination.”
Here’s a look at the study by the numbers:
– 292 first-generation immigrant children enrolled in 8 high-poverty, Boston schools received services through City Connects
– 11 years old = the mean age of the children
– 40 percent were Hispanic; about 30 percent were Asian, some 25 percent were African American, and about 5 percent were White
– two-thirds were English Language Learners
– the comparison group: 375 first-generation immigrant children of similar racial/ethnic backgrounds and socioeconomic status who attended the same schools before City Connects was implemented
– 8 to 10 percent of the children had intensive needs
– 2 = the number of times per year that site coordinators met with teachers to review students’ needs and connect them to a tailored set of supports and opportunities
“Immigrant students who experienced City Connects significantly outperformed immigrant students who never experienced the intervention on both reading and math achievement test scores. City Connects also narrowed achievement gaps between immigrant students and their English-proficient peers,” our 2016 progress report explains.
And Mary Walsh, the executive director of City Connects, adds that the program is having a powerful, positive impact on the achievement “of first-generation immigrant children, particularly those who enter school not fluent in English. Policies and programs that build on this approach may have considerable implications not just for newcomers but for their schools and communities.”