Slide 1I would like to thank you for the opportunity to speak here today. A particular thank you, to both Lois and Dr. Benson, for giving me the opportunity to share some thoughts about education and the work of United Way. Not so many years ago I stood before you to talk about our recovery from the flood of 2008 and just as then today I will talk to you about both adversity and hope. I will talk to you about how as community we can achieve great things --in this case for the children who are part of this creative corridor.
The focus of my conversation with you today is “building ladders to success”. How is it that all of us in this room have climbed a ladder to success? Achieved great things. Accomplished great tasks. And why then do others struggle to climb those ladders? I have just enough time today to touch on 3 ideas. All of us require the same rungs in our ladder in order to be successful. Our childhood experiences can pull the rungs out of our ladder or strengthen them. United Way is working with diverse partners across the community and across sectors to strengthen the ladders to success that are available to our children. So how did United Way come to be involved in a conversation about education? You may be asking yourself what does a fundraiser have to contribute to this conversation? We are best known for our fundraising role – last year alone we raised over $10 million dollars which will be distributed to serve 6 counties and over 100k people through the services of 40 community partners. And for almost100 years we funded programs that serve youth all across the community. Those programs focus on everything from developing leadership skills, mentoring, to providing safe out of school time activities for low income youth. It is an important safety net for our children but we have not been able to remove the obstacles to success that our children face every day. With our partners and local experts, United Way began searching for solutions to these challenges. Our current environment requires that all of us find innovative strategies to achieve the future we desire. In order to do that we have focused on uncovering root causes and building our capacity to respond.
So what have we learned? We are clear about the academic milestones that children must achieve in order to be successful in school, work and life. Here are some key benchmarks we can measure. But like a ladder that stands on muddy or uneven ground – a child’s success is equally influenced by the social-emotional experiences and environments that affect that child. The ground is pretty muddy and uneven for children who come from low-income families: let’s take a look at how they are doing – what are the disparities facing these children?
Cedar Rapids School District (CRCSD) statistics show that as the number of low-income students has risen, reading proficiency rates have declined. Poor readers are more likely to fail courses and drop out of school.The number of low-income elementary school students increased from 33% in 01-02, to 50% (3,700 children) in 10-11.So how are we doing? 47% -- nearly 1 of every 2 low income fourth-graders is not proficient in reading. The most recent data for Cedar Rapids indicates that 47% of low income fourth-graders are struggling with proficiency and why does that matter? 2 big reasons – 1 – it is around 4th grade when children make the shift from learning to read to reading to learn. Fall behind here and it is not just reading proficiency that suffers. Reason 2 - A growing challenge in Cedar Rapids particularly is that the percentage of young people who are low income and facing multiple barriers to success continues to grow. In ten years between 2000 and 2010 the Cedar Rapids school district saw an increase in the percent of children in elementary school who received free and reduced price lunches from 33% to 50.
Schott Foundation - Based on a study ranking state’s graduation data in 2010Compare this with a Gazette headline dated 2/27/2013 “Iowa has nation’s best high school graduation rate”Article cited that while other dropout rates were declining and grad rates rising – the same positive trend was not true for black learners
This is also the percent of students eligible for free and reduced price lunch for ‘10/11 – an increase from a rate of 33% in 2000/2001
Examined health and social effects of adverse childhood experiences throughout lifespanConducted by Dr. Robert Anda, CDC and Dr. Vincent Felitti, Kaiser PermanenteDecade-long study involving 17,000 peopleDemographics: primary care setting, educated, middle class, predominantly white Largest study ever done on the subjectAlmost two-thirds of study participants reported at least one ACE Source: From Anda’s presentationINCLUDE DEFINITION OF TRAUMA AT SOME POINT OR A SLIDE DISCUSSING IT? SAMSHA: Trauma can result from experiences of violence. Trauma includes physical, sexual and institutional abuse, neglect, intergenerational trauma, and disasters that induce powerlessness, fear, recurrent hopelessness, and a constant state of alert. Trauma:Physical: the body’s response to serious injury and threat.Mental: the mind’s response to serious injury and threat, including frightening thoughts and painful feeling Trauma definition source: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/helping-children-and-adolescents-cope-with-violence-and-disasters-parents/what-is-trauma.shtml
Aces dramatically increases risk for many health issues.
Let’s now take a look at what is happening in brain that have been affected by trauma.On the left side, there is a picture of a normal functioning brain.On the right side, there is a picture of an abuse brain. As you can see the abuse brain shows little to no activity within the Hippocampus which is the center for controlling emotional reactions and constructing verbal and spatial memory.Frequent or prolonged exposure to such events releases toxic amounts of the stress hormone “cortisol” that damages the architecture of the developing brain.Depending on the type of abuse and the age of when the abuse occurs determines the type of social, emotional or cognitive impairment.
A look at a typical classroom in Washington State…Another look at one school found that out of 2,101 children, ages 5-12, from 9 schools, randomly selected; about 50% of student populationFour of the schools were non-Title-One schools, five wereTitle-One schoolsAdverse experiences include: referral to child protective services, family violence, exposures to community violence, residential instability (using McKinney Vento definition)FINDINGS:1. ACEs are the greatest single predictor for health, attendance, & behavior2. ACEs are the second strongest predictor for academic failure (after special education status)3. The relationship between academic achievement and healthstatus appears less related to income than to ACEs~ Dr. Chris Blodgett, Washington State University, Area Health Education Center
Hope is the state which promotes the belief in a good outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life. Gallup’s Student Poll – Hope, Well-being and Engagement – first results published in 2009, 10 year studyHope - the ideas and energy we have for the future.Hope drives attendance, credits earned, and GPAof high school students. Hope predicts GPA andretention in college, and hope scores are more robustpredictors of college success than are high schoolGPA, SAT, and ACT scores.
As Henry Ford said: "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right."
Books delivered: RED Ahead has delivered 4,125 books and educational materials to families who otherwise may not have had the resources to obtain such materials. Parental behavior changes: 98% of parents reported they “feel more prepared to support [their] child’s language development and pre-reading skills” 99% of parents practiced additional RED Ahead activities with children Children are growing and learning:90% of children maintained or demonstrated developmental progress in language and early literacy skills 98% of children maintained or demonstrated developmental progress in gross motor skills96% of children maintained or demonstrated developmental progress in cognitive skills
Americorps program that builds a collaborative network of quality in and out-of school time education and social support programs for low income families and students.Youth Achievement Corps (Americorps Program)Operates at Grant Wood and McKinley.Composed of 10 full-time AmeriCorps members.6: in/out-of school tutors2: support early learning programs2: support parents/caregivers at The Arc of East Central IowaYouth Achievement Corps Results Year One:Total number of students tutored: 305130 Grant Wood175 total students at McKinleyTotal Number of Hours of Tutoring: 2,1361,383 hours at Grant Wood539 hours 1:1 or 1:2844 hours small group753 hours at McKinley680 hours 1:1 or 1:273 hours small groupElementary School Tutoring.Locally, only 50% of low-income kindergartners are proficient in early literacy skills, in contrast to 72% of their higher-income peers. The more time that passes, the harder it will be for the child to read at grade level; research has shown that 44 of 50 students who were poor readers at the end of first grade remained poor readers at the end of fourth grade. As poor readers enter middle school, they are more likely to fail courses and to eventually drop out of school. Iowa Department of Ed.: Basic Educational Data Survey, Address and Enrollment files, 2009.Juel, Journal of Educational Psychology 80, no. 4 (1988): 437-447. Jerald, Identifying Potential Dropouts: Key Lessons for Building an Early Warning Data System, June 2006.Locally, we know that many low-income students never catch up to their peers in reading. In the Cedar Rapids Community School District, only 54% of low-income students in 4th grade are proficient in reading compared to 82% of the rest of the students, and this gap persists throughout school with a 25% gap between reading skills of low-income 11th graders and their higher-income peers – leaving 1 in 3 low-income students not proficient in reading by the time they are preparing to exit school and begin their futures. 2009-10. Iowa Dept. Ed. The strategy:AmeriCorps members, coordinated through United Way’s Youth Achievement Corps, serve as reading tutors. These members commit to a term of service (similar to the Peace Corps), and in return receive a small living stipend. They are trained in effective tutoring techniques, and work with school staff to provide one-on-one and small group tutoring that corresponds with school curriculum. Reading strategies are selected based on what best meets students’ needs, and include the PREP Reading Intervention, Walpole Differentiated Reading Instruction and Leveled Literacy Intervention.The results - 2011-12 school year:130 students received 1,383 hours of tutoring from 3 AmeriCorps members at Grant Wood Elementary.Nearly half of students who were below their grade level in reading in the fall improved to meet or exceed their grade level by spring.100% of teachers whose students received literacy support from an AmeriCorps member stated that the AmeriCorps member contributed to an increase in literacy skills. Middle School Tutoring and STEM Programming.Middle school plays a pivotal role in reducing the achievement gap, improving high school graduation rates, and meeting future job demands. Although the graduation rate for all of Iowa was 87% in 2009, it was only 80% for Cedar Rapids. This is down from 93% in 2005. Graduation rates for minority students are even more worrisome. The graduation rate for African American students was 66% in 2009, a percentage that has continued to drop, down from 87% in 2005. Additionally, it is predicted that 73% of all local replacement and new jobs will require education beyond a high school diploma. Individuals who drop out of high school are more likely to be unemployed, to earn low wages, and to end up on welfare or in prison. Iowa Dept. Ed. This trend is clearly headed in the wrong direction: in the 04-05 school year, 146 students dropped out of the Cedar Rapids School District. By the 08-09 school year, the drop-out rate more than doubled, to 306 students. Skills 2010 Technology Corridor Report. Levin, Belfield, Muennig, Rouse: The Costs and Benefits of an Excellent Education for All of Americas Children, January 2007.Research shows that students’ middle grades experiences have a tremendous impact on the extent to which they will close achievement gaps, graduate from high school, and be prepared for college. Middle school should be seen as the launching pad for students to obtain the schooling and/or career training they will need to fully experience the opportunities of 21st century America.Balvanz: Putting Middle Grades on the Graduation Path, June 2009.The strategies:Academic support: AmeriCorps members, coordinated through United Way’s Youth Achievement Corps, serve primarily as math tutors. They work with school staff to provide one-on-one and small group tutoring that corresponds with school curriculum. Middle school math grades are a strong predictor of high school graduation, and supplemental math tutoring addresses an un-met need, as assistance is already available for middle school students who struggle with reading. Baltimore Education Research Consortium (2011). Destination Graduation: Sixth Grade Early Warning Indicators for Baltimore City Schools Their Prevalence and Impact.Interactive STEM Programming: With AmeriCorps members as the program facilitators, United Way partnered with McKinley Middle School to pilot a summer STEM Academy in 2012. This Academy exposed students to careers in science, technology, engineering or math, through field trips and hands-on activities. In Summer 2013, the Academy is expanding to offer seven weeks of programming, with partners including Kirkwood Community College, ISU Extension, Rockwell, Alliant Energy, and the City of Cedar Rapids. With the help of community volunteers, United Way hopes to offer monthly STEM sessions to students throughout the 2013-14 school year.The results - 2011-12 school year:175 students received 753 hours of tutoring from two AmeriCorps members20 students explored science, engineering and math careers through the first STEM AcademyTeachers raved about the extra assistance AmeriCorps members provided to students who needed the most help. One teacher stated: “Without Joe's interaction and support, (one of my students) was disruptive in class to avoid the task. He was unmotivated because his skills were far below his grade level. Homework completion was absent. Joe helped and without this support that student would have failed.”
Building Ladders to Success:Education Birth to WorkApril 29, 2013
Success in School, Work & LifeEngaged in community andschoolAn expectation for post-secondary educationAdvancing in MathReading to learnEarly language and literacy
What it foundRISK FACTOR % INCREASESmoking 242%Obesity 222%Depression 357%Illicit drug use 443%Injected drug use 1,133%Sexually TransmittedDiseases298%Attempted suicide 1,525%Alcoholism 555%People with4 or more ACEscompared to thosewith 0 ACEs
10 out of 30 ChildrenArrive at School with 4 or moreAdverse Childhood Experiences**Recent Washington State Study