What happens when a child believes in his or herself and becomes a visionary? Their goals, combined with a positive self-identity, become a compass for their future and a barometer for their expectations in life. A child that is pursuing his or her dream needs a community to pave the way with love, encouragement, support and resources.
As Frederick Douglass has told us:
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
Strong children lead to even stronger families and communities that thrive. Schools aim for each and every student to succeed. Service providers seek to deliver this with their resources. Families want this for their children. In Southern Alameda County (Union City, Hayward, Fremont, Newark) it is widely known and seemingly accepted by some, that students of African descent perform academically at the bottom compared to their counterparts.
At the same time, they are represented at the top of the disciplinary distribution. While graduation rates are over 80% in some districts,we’ve learned that students are not eligible to apply to a 4-year college due to not completing the required courses in high school. Of all the resources and service providers available in this rich area, youth and families of African descent still travel outside of their immediate community or never receive the support they need.
So, whose problem is this? Who do we hold accountable? The children, their parents, or the community? In less than two years, The Village Method (TVM) has impacted the lives of over 200 youth and families. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for the children and families allowing us into their lives. We never would have imagined the amount of learning required to develop a program that is responsive and adapts to the unique needs of our community. We are humbled and thankful to all those who have supported our vision of services.
As we press forward, TVM is narrowing its focus to the effect of implementing a greater degree of academic rigor and guidance into our programming. The theme for our 2016-17 academic school year is
…and it represents a chapter in our larger vision: “From the Bottom to the Top”. With this initiative, we intend to increase the number of our students represented in the upper 25th percentile of academic performance. Students and their families are excited! The school district is on board! TVM is staffing up for the challenge! To be successful, it will take the efforts and collaboration of the entire village as we rally for support. Incentive programs, celebrations of success, establishing partnerships, financial support, and plain old sweat-equity will all contribute to our collective success.
Are You Ready?