heartprints inc. is a community driven, positive impact 501(c)(3) approved non-profit that improves the lives of youth, families, and our communities by diminishing educational poverty through mentoring, jobs, and outreach to help people live a significant, respectful, and successful life. Copyright © 2007-2011 by heartprints inc.™ . All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Intervention Now | Improved Lives Later

"Johns Hopkins researcher Dr. Robert Balfanz has uncovered a series of indicators that he says can predict how likely a student is to drop out of high school: attendance, behavior and course performance, which he describes as the “ABCs.” "

Middle School Moments, as shared FRONTLINE

Ex. "In high-poverty schools, if a sixth grade child attends less than 80 percent of the time, receives an unsatisfactory behavior grade in a core course, or fails math or English, there is a 75 percent chance that they will later drop out of high school — absent effective intervention."

This is a stat, like many the education system learns, puts on a flyer, uses to leverage support around funding or volunteering. Sure, we see them, hear them, and understand there should be action post learning them. It makes sense that if you don't attend school consistently, your grades falter, and you are at a school with a high poverty rate - the youth there are at greater risk of dropping out, negative behavior, lower test scores, and the like.

This bolsters why our non-profit focuses on helping 6th-8th grade and High School students. The reason we focus on intervening during the 6th-8th grade years is due to the amount of decisions made around school, patterns, habits, friends, and other choices that dictate these pivotal times in youth's lives (prior to venturing into High School). Our lives are shaped and molded since entering the world of course, studies conducted around how the mind is most impacted between 0-2, then highly influenced during these middle school years - into adulthood.

Our approach with heartprints is to not only help improve math and reading scores - as well as improved achievement test results, but motivate youth to succeed holistically as a person beyond scores, and through 5 key areas (Leadership, Decision Making, Jobs/Career, Higher Education, and Participation).

Scores/Grades are good measures, but to measure and test the true success solely on this will not work. Studies do show that improving these areas are essential to progress through the system, but infusing innovative methods such as divergent learning, working with mentoring/tutoring groups internally and externally, real-time service learning, and case studies allow for unique learning experiences. Not everyone learns the same. Some folks are process, others are creative. Some are both. Some are visual, others written learning works. Some need hands on experiences, others can dissect the essence of a lesson by literary study. It's diverse, differs across the board, and what has worked for decades may not work the same in a changing world.

As businesses evolve to ever changing markets and are agile to develop strategies for survivability and growth - schools may learn from this approach as well. Realistically, we cannot overhaul an entire educational system constantly, but in the least we can work to infuse dynamic opportunities for growth/learning experiences. There's no magic pill or simple solution to a system that is in place and is gargantuan. The way we process kids

heartprints noticed this trend as well, and works to be more strategic in impacting the lives of youth, families, and our communities. It's time to stop the blame game and excuses. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) blame schools. Teachers blame home. Schools blame the government. Government blames everyone.

The blame stops with you. Taking ownership and accountability to get involved in changing the system through your involvement is the start of the marathon race. We would like to generate excitement in your spirit, for service. It would be great if you choose us, no shameless plug (ha), but find a trust worthy, passionate, energizing, and caring cause that is focused on helping youth succeed academically and also personally.

Collaborating with the appropriate leaders at the sites we (heartprints) serve, through our mission, striving to earn volunteers to mentor/tutor, and amplify impact through our programs + services like CincyJobSpace, Charity Coffee, and our heartprints help guide to positively infiltrate the home/family unit a well also inspires connectivity to opportunities.

Email hello@heartprints.org to get involved with our cause!