Supporting Students: Learning Can’t Stop Now
Around this time last year, we wrote about what's called the "summer slide," which is when students lose some of the academic gains they made during the previous school year. Avoiding the summer slide takes intentional focus on reading and learning, and for families with low incomes, this can prove especially challenging. Many parents are still working full time, and childcare is expensive. Kids are no longer getting lunch at school, so that's another meal to come up with. When resources are already limited—both time and money—extra programs to keep kids learning are often out of reach.
At CommonBond, we've typically had onsite summer programming for youth K-12, free of charge, for CommonBond residents. The program has been tailored to students in order to best support them in preventing academic regression. But this year, an unprecedented pandemic raises the stakes. When school buildings closed mid-semester due to COVID-19, critical access to otherwise out-of-reach learning resources disappeared for many students. Now, it's not just the summer slide—the world has been dealing with educational challenges for months.
There are still many unknowns, but one thing is certain: support can't stop for kids to continue learning and growing. Here’s what we’ve been doing to ensure kids don’t lose access to meaningful educational support while school buildings and many services are closed:
- Partnering with parents and families to respond to a wide range of critical needs—access to technology, food, basic supplies, and physical and mental health support
- Creating online resources and tools for education
- Providing remote homework help, college and career resources, social emotional learning opportunities, and positive peer interaction
- Halting evictions for families financially impacted by COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight many deep inequities; for young people, education is among the most critical. And now, the current racial injustice has further exposed deeply entrenched cracks in our society. As our communities continue to fight for change, opportunity, and justice, we must continue to ensure our 3,800 youth residents have the tools they need to learn and grow. Interested in how you can help? Click here to support CommonBond youth programs.
I was a CommonBond Volunteer tutor in the teen room at your Torre de San Miguel site in St Paul until the pandemic hit. I would like to continue helping teens remotely this summer. I could tutor or teach a math class via Zoom. Let me know how I might help.
Thanks so much for your willingness to jump in! I'll forward your comment to our volunteer manager, Arbor. He'll reach out to you about what volunteer needs we have (or anticipate having) soon!
-Chelsea, CommonBond Communities