Help fund educational resources for the less fortunate

Help fund educational resources for the less fortunate

From Mike Pierce

I am raising funds to help support low income families with much needed educational assistance & resources not normally available to the less fortunate & provide equal opportunity

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According to OxfamAmerica.org, there are over 50 million people in poverty in the United States alone. And according to Debt.org, the most impoverished (31%) include young adults without a high school diploma. Education, or lack thereof, clearly has an impact on poverty. There is a cycle that must be broken. Children who are struggling in school need help. But most often the children who are struggling are the very ones for whom the family cannot afford to seek help in the form of quality tutoring and other resources that often exceed $30 an hour.

As a former tutor I have seen this many times. I often donated my time, allowing students who could not afford tutoring to sit in with those who could, in order to help improve their education. Admittedly it felt like a spit in the ocean as it was hit and miss. However, it pointed to a need. Students begin to fail early in school. Their grades begin to suffer in 3 grade. I had to ask myself why this was so difficult for students from less affluent households to get help for.

I learned that these students were from households of parents who could not afford the help needed for their students. The households often consisted of a single parent struggling to make ends meet, often with multiple children, and no time to help the children in their education. There were often few relatives or other resources available to help with the children. The children were often spending much of their valuable study time helping out with home duties.

If only there were funds available to help these parents get some quality extra educational resources for their children! I am hoping to begin raising money to put into a scholarship to donate to area Florida tutors on behalf of students in need as indicated by area school teachers.

My plan is to take a given amount, offer it as a scholarship available to however many students it can serve whom the public school administration can identify as in need of assistance, should the parent(s) wish to avail themselves of it. The money would be paid directly to the education services, not to the families. The schools already have a means in place of identifying, discretely, families in need, through the free and reduced lunch program. My plan is to start in school districts with Title 1 status, determined by the number of students enrolled in free and reduced lunch programs according to the federal government.

I would not know who receives the benefits, only that they were being utilized and benefiting students in need of educational assistance. Poverty harms education. But education leads to poverty. It is a vicious cycle with many other factors and I am trying to take care of one. Please help me to break the cycle!

Some important data related to education and poverty gleaned from Children International points to some very good reasons to do everything we can to help these kids get early help with their education:

·      If all students in low-income countries gained basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty. 

·      The likelihood of infant mortality decreases up to 10% for every additional year of schooling a mother receives.

·      A woman’s earning potential will be up to 20% higher for every year of schooling she completes.

·      Globally, 83% of kids complete grade school. But a stunning 55% of youth do not finish high school. These rates are even worse in developing nations and among disadvantaged communities.

·      Of the nearly 2 billion youth in the world, roughly one-third are not employed, not in school, and not in formal training for work.

·      Economic returns for higher education grads are life-changing: College grads see a 17% increase in earnings, compared with a 10% increase for primary and a 7% increase for high school grads. (Kids who cannot be successful in elementary school will not have necessary skills for high school, will give up and quit).

At $30 per hour, two days per week, seven months of tutoring would cost over $1,600. I am setting a goal of $500. Anything over that is a bonus. Thank you so much for giving!

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