25 students. 25 F’s.
This week we started our new School Community Program initiative. We are working in a concentrated manner with the children in the third grade there, and on our first day we helped grade the math exams. Not one child was able to perform on the math test at a level that was above an F.
If you can not read, you can not learn. A Wider Circle has connected with this school, this teacher, because not one student in the third grade can read at grade level. And again, if you can not read, you can not learn. So, not one student can now do the math.
When our Director of Research & Education, Marian Cooper, came back and shared that, and I asked what she thought of our goal – to bring 100% of the kids to grade level in reading this school year – without hesitation she answered, “I think we can do it.”
That is the type of answer, the type of spirit, these kids need. They need for all of us to believe it is possible and to prepare them for success. As we have shared, many states use third grade performance to determine the number of prisons and prison cells they will need to build in the future. Look at who fails, they say, and build accordingly. Let’s flip that script and start putting pressure on education planners and professionals to prepare more college rooms and get ready for larger college class sizes. That is our charge.
As Marian and I continued to talk about the kids, her next emphatic point was, “They really need us down there!”
They do. They need us – all of us.
As we get ready for The Community Ball, I know clearly why we are having it, who will benefit, and what we need to do that night and afterward. We need to raise support and put it to good use.
From 0 to 100, in 9 months flat.