As our world slowly reopens, and people seek to recover some resemblance of ‘normal,’ we are left now with the tattered remains of what two years of isolation can do to a society and to its youth. Before the pandemic, our systems had flaws. Now, we cannot go back to what was. In order to overcome the costs of the last fifteen months, in order to grow, in order to have healthy young people and families,we will need to go beyond the practical and linear into the superheroic.
As billions of dollars flow into schools and communities as part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan, one of the key questions is how to use the money to make the greatest difference for young people. What will it take to get them re-engaged in schools, recover lost time, come up to grade-level, and graduate with the skills they need to succeed as adults? By August of 2021, only 20% of the plan’s $178 billion has been given to help young people stay in school and is currently being directed to programs to help counteract "learning loss" for students who missed school during the pandemic.
In Gwinnett County, the interventions being launched with these funds are straightforward: The county is working hard to reopen schools to provide in-person instruction and to contract as many groups as possible to be able to provide one-on-one tutoring. These efforts are important. It is vital that Gwinnett County, with its dynamic diversity, also understand that it’s young people’s success in education is directly tied to their more fundamental needs for safety and for belonging (Maslow, 1943).
Click to download the "More Than Tutoring" White Paper that walks you through the Covid-19 crisis in schools and what it will take to see lasting, impactful change.