There are nearly 50 corps members who are actively working to improve the quality of education in the Northeast Ohio region. With as much energy and commitment as our small group has, many of us see Cleveland in its current state. We see statistics telling us that less than 60 percent of Cleveland’s low income children will graduate high school by the age of 18, and that only 15 percent of those that do graduate are ready for college. We see 23 percent of Cleveland’s children living in homes where the head of household is a high school dropout. We know that a strong education is the best chance a child has to succeed in life, and we don’t see enough children in our neighborhoods receiving one.
Even so, the potential of Cleveland still resides in our students. Fortunately, we are surrounded by a community of hundreds of thousands of people who have both seen what Cleveland once was and know what it COULD be. They’ve seen Cleveland as Millionaires Row, The Best Location in the Nation, Euclid Beach Park and the setting of the Christmas Story. This is a group that is as passionate about the area as we are, who want nothing more than its future to be even brighter than its past. Yet, understandably, many are asking "How? How can I personally make this brighter future a reality?"
The Friends and Family campaign answers this question by providing an opportunity to support Teach For America teachers and harness the collective energy needed to truly transform Northeast Ohio. Teach For America believes education has the opportunity to change the trajectory of a child’s life, so the transformation of Northeast Ohio has to begin in the classroom.
Alarmingly, today’s students risk falling behind if they aren’t given access to the skills needed compete in an ever-increasing technology based society. We know this is especially true in low income households, where only 40% of kids growing up in poverty in Greater Cleveland scored proficient or above in math on state standardized exams. With these test scores and without the preparation to pursue a college degree, too many of these students don’t reach their true potential.
Teach For America understands these challenges and seeks to recruit proven leaders from diverse backgrounds to provide an excellent education to all children. Our leaders are enabling students to make incredible academic gains as seen by the fact that within the first few months of teaching in Cleveland, there were examples of students outscoring end-of-year assessments and TFA teachers being named grade leaders within their school. Further, research shows that Teach For America alumni continue to fight for education equity, with two thirds remaining in education and one half deciding to remain as teachers. The other 50 percent of those who remain in education act as school leaders and alumni and founders of entrepreneurial education organizations.
To sustain and multiply our transformational power throughout Northeast Ohio, we are striving to raise $10,000 in order to place more Teach for America teachers in our region. The Friends and Family Campaign not only serves to bring 65 new teachers into local classrooms but also helps inspire the future of Northeast Ohio. A future where a world class city isn’t a memory but a reality.
We have chosen a small gift fundraiser because we want to mobilize a large group of individuals that believe in Teach For America’s mission and teachers. We encourage our supporters to reach out to others they think would be interested in the campaign. Many employers match donations made to small gift campaigns and may be an easy way to increase your impact. All donations are tax deductable and greatly appreciated.
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