Nonprofits supplementing the education system

Submitted by More Better on Tue, 11/08/2005 - 10:45.

Post thoughts and comments regarding the role of Nonprofits supplementing the public education system in NEO

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Educational Support by Nonprofits

I have been fortunate to have been able to volunteer for a number of nonprofits over the past few years, and have been energized by the fact that so many positive change organizations in the region offer services to complement or supplement school systems. This can be especially helpful in the case of public school systems which are lagging in respect to national averages for test scores and graduation rates. Some of the the nonprofits I've worked with include:

     E City: works with underprivileged youth to teach critical entrepreneurship skills like business planning, new venture creation, and recordkeeping

Boys and Girls Clubs of America:provides tutoring and afterschool recreational opportunities for young people - healthy alternatives to street activities and the like.

Progressive Arts Alliance: provides exposure to urban arts like graffiti art and Mcing to young people.

There are certainly many more of these groups and the idea that comes to mind is developing effective models for communication and coordination between all of these groups functioning in the educational sphere so the most effective and comprehensive educational services are delivered to young people, especially at the critical K-12 age bracket. I believe virtual mechanisms like those that facilitate idea and information sharing are critical to this cause and effort. There is an extraordinary opportunity to build as part of a comprehensive network map for the region a listing of all organizations providing educational support services and design ways they can collaborate that are not redundant or destructively competitive

Absolutely - public sector as well

It is critical all sectors of society support public education. Non-profits can provide many valuable services, whether that is their primary missions or part of their value to the community. Examples are cultural institutions providing special programs for school children, or bringing programs to the schools.

Foundations are needed to fund some of these non-profit services, along with grants.

Private enterprises and individuals can help as well, by donating goods and services to benefit the schools. Examples include construction companies helping repair a school building (Baltimore) and a business owner paying for art supplies (Max Hayes High School, here in Cleveland).

It is one job of the next Cleveland schools CEO to maximize the benefits of such partnerships.