"Highly educated adults in the United States have lower yearly mortality rates than less-educated people in every age, gender, and racial/ethnic subgroup of the population," write University of Texas at Austin researchers. Not only do people who've received a high quality education have more opportunity to secure sustainable employment than peers who haven't, but they've also got the skills, knowledge, and connections they need to successfully navigate today's rapidly evolving world, engage in self-actualizing pursuits, and accrue resources they can share with their communities.
In "Building a Modern Village", a recent blog by Courtney Kelly of By Little Media, the case is made for why education matters for the health and wellness of individuals and a larger community and the tangible ways that we all can do our part to ensure that ALL children have access to the support they need to succeed.
In this blog, you'll hear from our very own Laura Elliot as she talks about the power and promise of Community Schools and how you can help us move this work forward here in our community. You'll also hear from Jodi Grant, Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs.
"In a lot of ways, integrated afterschool and summer programs are a stepping stone to Community Schools," explained Grant. And Community Schools are an ingenious solution to the issue of inequitable resource distribution across our nation's neighborhoods. The strategy brings local partners—families, businesses, nonprofits, health care organizations, literacy groups, mentorship programs, etc.—together into school buildings where they can reach students directly.
"At the same time, by converting public schools into resource hubs, Community Schools make it easier for providers to connect with the folks they aim to serve," explained Elliot. “They also empower students, parents, and other community members to become impact leaders. The strategy has proven to be extremely effective. According to pre-pandemic data from Buncombe County, NC, students attending one of the seven community schools there achieved a 10% improvement in attendance and performance. For BIPOC students, that number was even higher: 15%."
By Little launched several months ago with the belief that we can change our world, even with small actions. Listen to the By Little Media founders for yourself.