When seeking to love our Parker Street neighbors, it is helpful that even the words used, with the popular descriptive labels, do not become mindsets. Labels like behind, learning gaps, under-resourced, achievement gaps, and COVID Slide communicate REAL needs. As neighborhood students get report cards soon and inhouse testing results are reviewed, staff will be challenged to shift toward an asset-based mindset as they think and approach youth and families. Treating individuals with dignity and love is a command for Christians who understand God loved us first, so we love!
An emphasis on individualized instruction was the biggest take-away Education Director Christina Allen received as she completed the 120-hour requirement for the fourth renewal of her teaching certificate. Recertification happens every five years and has been a lot of work, but the after-school students will be better for it as language is reframed. “Differentiated instruction was a favorite course. I’ve gained a fresh perspective on teaching kids as individuals, considering their interests and strengths – helping kids have an ‘I can’ mindset,” Christina explained.
Neighborhood moms and dads continue to have a great option for after-school care in the Academic Enrichment Program (AEP). It is free, diverse, convenient, and proven to keep kids on track for progressing to the next grade level while continuing to emphasize Bible instruction. The year-round AEP provides opportunities to get homework done, advance academically, and to connect to self, neighbors, and, most importantly, to the God of the Bible
We also remain “positive” that the COVID slide in learning is affecting students. If you have never heard of it, the video on this page titled Education meets COVID provides an explanation. Will you pray students are not defined by these labels but can rise above them?
Volunteers, too, make an impact by coming alongside students as tutors while expanding their own life experiences. And, if you are a high school or college student, you can do good while earning volunteer hours to meet your requirements. Summer Camp is upon us very soon. If you want to get your volunteer feet wet, fill out this form and Hannah Scruggs will be in touch with you!
Qualified education staff, positive mindsets, and volunteer tutors are just three ways neighborhood youth and families are loved.