February 9, 10:08 AM click here to comment > 0
Help us change a child’s life through mentoring and tutoring
Recently the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers are not living up to their constitutionally-mandated responsibility to fund education in Washington. This confirms what many in our community have known for a long time – the system isn’t working.
We’re not doing enough to prepare our kids for success. And this failure affects students of color disproportionately.
Race matters in education. In 2010, 90.7% of white students met the state’s third grade reading standard, compared with:
- 65.4% of Latino students
- 50% of Native American students
- 63.2% of low income students
- 57.5 % of black students
- 41.2% of English language learners
- 78.9% of Asian students
- 60% of Pacific Islander students
Failure to read at grade level by third grade is a high predictor of dropping out of school – a child who cannot read by third grade is four times more likely to drop out. In fact, some state prison systems are said to estimate how many beds they’ll need in the future for the incarcerated based on elementary reading scores.
We can’t fix all the problems with our state’s education system from the mayor’s office, but there are plenty of things we can do to help our students succeed. One of the things we’re working on is improving access to mentoring and tutoring. We know that mentoring and tutoring greatly increase a student’s chances of success in school, and we know that often students of color don’t have the same access to these opportunities as white students. By signing up volunteers to work one-on-one with students through our Engage Seattle volunteer opportunities, we are improving educational outcomes for the students we serve and broadening access to mentoring and tutoring services among communities of color. It’s part of our work to end racial disparities in education, which began with the Youth and Families Initiative that was my first project upon taking office.
But we need your help. We’re recruiting volunteers from the community to work with these children and youth who need your help. We’ve doing our part personally – Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith, Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams and Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel have all signed up as mentors – but we need everyone in our community to step up as a caring adult in a young person’s life.
Check out our website at seattle.gov/engage. If you are ready to join a growing corps of volunteers in support of children and youth, please contact:
- For early literacy: Mariah Pepper with Youth Tutoring Program at email@example.com or Danielle Holling with United Way of King County at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- For middle school after school programs: Daisy Catague at email@example.com or 206-615-0303;
- For mentorship for at risk middle and high school students: Thao Tran at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 684-4033.
Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn