Alumni-Engagement Programs

Hurricanes and earthquakes have the advantage of being quickly devastating where everyone can see the damage. Child poverty and high school graduation rates have a gradual effect on the community therefore people are not focused on it. We have a reactive society as oppose to a proactive society.
We would need some type of natural disaster or Rosa Parks statement to create a movement. Childhood poverty and low high school graduation rates are nothing new but there has not been any light on the situation. The lack of education and understanding the average person knows about poverty is minimal. The average person does not understand how multi-faceted poverty really is. Then when people are educated about poverty the amount of help needed is overwhelming which leads to a sense of hopelessness. It is easier to push the situation away and say that it is “not my problem” or “they chose to be that way” when the reality is no one chooses to be homeless or hungry.
We can all agree that our educational system is failing. I am tired of hearing the “well it’s the teachers fault” or “it’s the student’s fault they don’t want to learn or they don’t care”. I wish more people would consider the entire picture and start fixing the problems and stop blaming a certain groups of people. Students are coming into school with pressing-emotional issues that most people would probably go to therapy for. This “they don’t care attitude” could be because they don’t know where they are going to sleep tonight or when their next meal is going to come from. I had a 10 year old girl tell me a story about how her friend was mugged yesterday. This girl is 10 years old! It is hard for teachers to teach when the majority of their students are more focused on getting their basic needs met. This leads to low literacy, low test scores and low graduation rates. The students need more support, the teachers need support but they receive pressure from the state to perform and pump out outcomes that are not attainable.
The school district is trying to address the more support issue by the expanded learning day. Expanded learning helps improve outcomes for children by providing expanded academic enrichment and engagement, leveraging community resources to offer instruction and experimental learning opportunities in core and other subjects. Expanded learning incorporated strategies such as hands-on learning, working in teams and problem solving to contribute to as well-rounded education. The Rochester community has a very strong sense of urgency which you can see by the many programs and resource they do use in the schools.


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