We are challenging individuals to join us as we deepen and broaden our analysis of educational practices by reframing the achievement gap as an opportunity gap. We are shifting our focus from outputs to inputs in underserved communities and addressing opportunity gaps.
Creating Equitable Opportunities & Systems Thinking
We will tackle educational inequities with a holistic approach by developing an understanding of the issues both inside and outside of school and creating opportunities to address them.
Leveling the Playing Field
The literature suggests that one way to close the opportunity gap is by leveling the playing field. We will collectively build a prototype Leadership Academy designed to narrow and close achievement/opportunity gaps
Attending community meetings to learn of the issues and opportunities to build stronger communities. Meeting with community partners and residents to recruit/invite supporters to serve on the board, and carry out the mission. Building a Financial Literacy Coalition, providing training/intern opportunities to empower recipients with tools to lead in their community. Promoting and supporting parental involvement in unaccredited schools.
Backbone Support for Collective Impact: Collaborating with nonprofit, government, corporate, and civic organizations; community leaders, educators, colleges and universities, parents and students to form a collective impact to increase resources and equitable opportunities. Recruiting and co-creating with cross-sector partners, providing resources and skills to convene and coordinate participating organizations into developing a common agenda (common understanding of the problem and shared vision for change), shared measurement (research, collecting data, and measuring results), mutually reinforcing activities (coordination though joint plan of action), continuous communication (consistent and open communication), stakeholder and community engagement (Eastern Henrico and Richmond), equity in collaboration and interventions, and shared power. Together we are developing best practices and a leadership program derived from research, collected data and evaluation.
Develop Young Leaders:
A program that cultivates young leaders to thrive in their community with a commitment to academic, social, economic, environmental, and civic excellence. The program will academically motivate youth, develop academic skills, behaviors, and attitudes. Areas of Specialty: Government (the governing body of a nation, state, or community.); Literacy (the ability to “read, comprehend, write, listen and speak”); Economics (Financial Literacy: the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth); Arts (painting, music, literature, and dance); Math (the study of quantity, structure, space); Science (study of the natural world, biology, physics, chemistry). Annually the program will accommodate sixty 5th grade students who attend schools that are not fully accredited, and are performing below the state benchmark. Over four years, (5th – 8th) the program will provide: tutoring, preparation for standardized tests, instruction in financial literacy, field trips and life skills, community mentors, arts, and trauma informed care. Students will have the opportunity to improve their grades, and prepare to qualify for accredited specialty high schools.