How do we create the conditions for every child and every school in every area to flourish? The school climate is everything when it comes to helping each child reach their full potential. If the child does not have an environment that creates a sense of hope or belief, they have a hard time reaching their true potential. There are many aspects to school culture and climate that can develop this environment. Something as simple as a clean campus makes a big difference. Welcoming attitudes of the support staff are another. There are many things schools can do, but community partnerships that support these schools move mountains in regard to reaching the goal of a hope filled climate.

At the elementary level, these partnerships can make a change through helping every student read. A recent study has shown that only 1 in 3 third graders are at the third grade reading level at the end of their school year. This is a staggering number because from kindergarten to third grade students are learning how to read, and from fourth grade on they are reading to learn. This statistic measures how well a child will be able to learn in their school years. How important is this measurement? Prisons look at these studies of third grade reading levels to project how many prisons they need to build in the future. They see the direct link between the education of a child and the crime rate in the future.

Could you partner to help every student read?

Educational partnerships are a key element in making sure children are flourishing at the high school level as well. When I was a principle, a local church came up to me and asked how they could help better the school. They came to me with no agenda, all they wanted to do was learn how they could serve and help better the learning environment for my students. Over a seven year period of this partnership building into students, the acceptance rate in my school to four year Universities went from 20% of our students to 90%. This school that was one of the bottom schools rose to the top 10%. Students going to college were transformational in the households of this community.

Want to change a community? Get involved and partner with a local school.

Ed Manansala; Deputy Superintendent, Educational Services and Information Technology for El Dorado County office of Education

To learn more about Ed Manansala and other people who are making a difference in their communities check out Convergence.World