A system of support

This week, a column in the Washington Post called on local leaders to address “the hard facts of inequality” in children’s access to opportunities to learn.

The column calls for personalized schools and “systems of support” that help children focus on learning when they arrive at school.

This is particularly important given the achievement gaps that children from low-income families struggle to close.

Here at City Connects, creating systems of support and opportunity so that children can succeed academically and personally, is at the heart of what we do.

Two years ago, WGBH radio broadcast a story on City Connects, and we’re sharing it now because it brings this idea to life.

“9-year old Edgardo Garcia is a shy 4th grader at the Holmes elementary school in Dorchester who likes reading and gym class and his 8 month old brother.

“But last year his principal Yeshi Gaskin Lamour noticed something was wrong….

“ ‘I noticed that he would come to school and look concerned, nervous with anxiety or even crying…so the first sign was his physical affect.’

“Edguardo’s mom Teresa says she noticed something too, but didn’t know what to do.”

The principal asked City Connects coordinator Ann Young, a social worker, to get involved.

“ ‘First we wanted to know where is the anxiety coming from and how can we best address it.’

“ ‘I got to know mom first,’ says Young. ‘Mom came to me with some needs and we were able to meet those needs.’

As WGBH says, City Connects “takes social work to another level.”

City Connects coordinators “meet basic needs so students can focus on learning.”

That’s City Connects in a nutshell. To hear more, click here.

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