Schools hold all of the necessary tools and means to educate the youth of today’s society, but not all schools are living up to their full potential. Many are missing out on one key factor of success: Community Involvement.
Numerous benefits follow for schools when they integrate the community into their systems. Kids achieve more in school, stay in school longer, and enjoy the experience more. If a child is being educated on issues pertaining to their surroundings, they are more likely to become engaged in the learning process. On the other hand, the community benefits in multiple ways too. Community/business school partnerships are made, the parents can get more involved in their kids’ lives, and there are more opportunities for students to become actively involved in the environment around them.
When the two parties can come together, new financial avenues open up. One company may offer to provide a service to the school in exchange for an internship program to be installed to potentially hire future employees. Parents no longer rely on their child to relay information back and forth about what is going on with their education. Instead, they have a say in what and how their children learn. If the parents have suggestions for the school on what they could do differently, they have the means to do so because a relationship was already established.
A student sitting in Government class learning about the politics behind towns, cities and states may feel disconnected because they know what they’re learning about doesn’t directly relate to or affect their everyday life. But, when they’re exposed to real-world issues, ones that actually have a chance at changing the way they live, the retention rate for the information they learn increases.
This mutual relationship between school and community does not happen enough – often the opposite happens, where one side takes advantage of the other, leaving the students in the middle to be affected by the outcome. When both sides can come together in a healthy manner, however, all three parties can prosper. With both a school and its community working together in full force, one’s success breeds the other’s success.