Community Partnerships Close the Knowledge Gap of Low-Achieving Students
Many students from low-income families are in single-parent households or have parents without higher education. This means that these parents are usually full-time workers and don’t have fluid funds to expose their children to camps and educational courses over the summer. This is where the knowledge gap between students of different socioeconomic classes starts to widen.
“You have those who achieve, often they achieve based on the environment that they come from. Their parents or their grandparents, or whoever is influential in their lives, yield them to educational excellence and puts them in schools or programs that enhance their cognitive abilities to master science, technology, engineering, math, and other courses like art and writing at an early stage. And so those kids go into an advanced pool, and that advanced pool… is a small number as it relates to people of brown skin color.”
Children of minority families bear the brunt of the damage when it comes to higher education. For instance, parents with higher incomes can afford to put their children in educational summer programs and have more access to learning material. They spend their summers reading and engaging in hands-on activities that develop their cognitive abilities.
On the other hand, parents of low-income households don’t have the proper resources to keep educating their children outside of school, and the gap between these students keeps widening. However, the solution lies in community partnerships.
Because students of low-income families are less likely to finish college due to the knowledge gap, they need intensive resources to guide them through higher education.
Community partnerships are a great way to give children the resources they need from an early age without sacrificing their future education.
Here are some ways that community partnerships can help elevate low-achieving students:
1. Level the playing field — By creating different summer curricula and granting resources to educational courses, students can close the education gap; it gives underprivileged students access to the same opportunities afforded to their higher-income peers.
2. Teach children leadership — Education and curiosity combined can make students confident in their abilities to succeed in higher education.
“When you can bring out that leadership quality in young kids, they are more open to learn, they’re more open to be coached.” (Dr. Marvin Perry)
3. Teach children business — Since many students from low-income families feel unfit for higher education, they don’t pursue other forms of trade schools or career paths. However, by teaching them business from an early age, they can learn the basics for a wide array of jobs or opportunities that they might want to follow.
By partnering with the community (and with the right resources), we can teach children how to start businesses, how to market themselves, and how to network from an early age.
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