How a school can turn around a community
By Tyler on May 2nd, 2011
That was unquestionably clear to me when I toured the Mahalia Jackson Early Childhood and Family Center in Central City, New Orleans a couple of weeks ago. This is a brand new school in a neighborhood known more for its violence and blight than for it educational institutions. And it’s more than just a school; it’s a community center that offers health services, adult education, a public library and child care and early education services from birth to age 5.
As I walked in and out of classrooms, greeted kids on the playground, and spoke to the leaders of the various community organizations that helped build the community center, I knew that this is a school that could change things in this neighborhood.
More and more research is showing us the link between access to early childhood education and success in secondary school. And it made me smile to think that the kids I saw having a blast with their instructors on the Mahalia Jackson playground — maybe of whom live below the poverty line and in single-parent homes — were far more likely to succeed in life because of what was being offered to them as 3- and 4-year-olds.
No comments yet