If all things were equal, all students would be successful, but there are glaring inequalities in the lives of low income students and those from wealthier families. Things that seem as basic as access to books and educational assistance are things many families go without.
Powerful Schools is working hard to change that. They believe that all students can be successful with the right tools and help. Their goal is to “reduce the achievement gap by creating strong partnerships with public schools to help children thrive.”
They employ methods such as academic intervention, in and out-of-class learning, family learning and school readiness programs. They are ensuring that all children succeed both in and out of school.
Powerful Schools got started in 1991 and has been delivering on the dream ever since. They offer “stimulating, multi-year, school-wide academic programs integrated into public elementary schools in Seattle and South King County.”
They target mostly public school students whose voices are heard the least and who need the most help. They, and their schools, usually are lacking basic resources.
During the 2012-13 school year, Powerful Schools worked with more than 4,300 children and their families in 12 Seattle and South King County elementary schools and six CDSA preschools.
Here are some stats: 50 percent of children are not ready to succeed when they enter kindergarten. One third of low-income children read below grade level. Over 170,000 Washington kids spend nine hours alone after school per week. Two thirds of low-income families do not own any children’s books.
After working with Powerful Schools: 87 percent of preschoolers made their goals. 68 percent of students met targeted growth rates. 1,600 plus hours of after-school time aligned with school goals and 20,000 books were read by elementary students.
Powerful Schools boasts a 25 percent decrease in the achievement gap for low income students in elementary school. And it increases the high school graduation rate by more than half. This is powerful indeed!