Every 26 seconds a child drops out of school. Less than three quarters of the students who enter the ninth grade graduate four years later.
At Communities In Schools (CIS) of Seattle, we help the kids facing the greatest challenges empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS places site coordinators in needy schools to benefit students and their families. These site coordinators fulfill student needs by mobilizing existing community resources and fostering cooperative partnerships.
CIS utilizes evidence-based research to support their model. This model demonstrated the strongest reduction in dropout rates according to an independent study. We believe this evidence of effectiveness is to ensure that children, particularly those most in need are provided programs proven to be effective. This approach would also ensure adequate protection of taxpayer dollars.
As the president and Congress deliberate education legislation like the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we hope they support opportunities to include funding for site coordinators to use evidence-based programs as a fundamental part of school reform.
Shira Rosen Executive Director
Communities In Schools of Seattle
I am in Washington Middle School in the Seattle Public Schools district and am in eighth grade.
At my school, a normal day starts at 7:50 a. m. and concludes at 2:20 p. m.; we have five-minute breaks between classes and a 30-minute lunch. This leads to the students participating in about five and a half hours of working and focusing every day. This tends to be an overload of work for our developing brains.
One would think that our fiveminute breaks between classes would be a good time for relaxing and refocusing. However, between navigating the hallways and conversing with friends, this time is anything but restful. As the day goes on, it becomes harder to focus and produce good work.
I propose that we be given an extra five or 10 minutes at the beginning of a class to settle down and get our brains back on track. Although this would take away time from teachers, it would produce better-focused and harder-working students. This would help our brains retain and process information faster and move from one subject to another with more ease.
Overall, I think that this would produce better results in schools and should be considered by those in charge of the school district.
Hannah Mummey Genesee Be interested, get involved I am writing to encourage
you, especially if you’re young, to participate in your government.
It’s incredible how receptive our elected representatives are to teenagers, and I wish more of us had the nerve to step to the microphone and speak our minds. Even though I’m only in eighth grade, I feel like I make a real difference, and I’m sure you could, too.
I got here because of the Seattle Youth Commission, a group of 25 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19. The commission website is seattle.gov/syc,which will explain everything about their application process this spring. The commission is a great opportunity to connect with elected officials and a jumping-off point for other activities.
Other places at which you might look to connect better with our government are the city’s website (seattle.gov)and the school-district site (seattleschools.org).These will have events posted, such as town halls and community forums, that are there to gather feedback about specific programs.
Also, elected officials’ e-mails and other contact information are easily found, and don’t hesitate to contact the appropriate person about whatever issues you care about; after all, they exist to listen to you.
Don’t feel like you need to know everything when you’re just getting started in politics; I certainly didn’t. I’ve misspoken, asked stupid questions, forgotten events I had been planning on attending and generally made a mess of things, but I haven’t let that stop me.
What I’ve found, though, is that most of the time, adults’ comments are heard, but they have already been said. However, because they are underrepresented in political discourse, young people have a lot to say that no one has heard before.
Your job is not to come up with the answers; that’s what elected officials and their staffs are there for. Your job is to ask the right questions, so the elected officials know what they need to be working on.
Apathy is certainly a lot easier than acting, but apathy is the cause of many of our problems today. Had Seattle’s voters cared, perhaps they would have voted to pay an extra $60 on their car tabs to arrest the continuing decay of our roads.
Unless you want to live in a world where every system is broken and every election won by those who are least hated — rather than those who will change the city for the better — you must act. There is only one way to fix the world, and no one’s going to fix it if you don’t.
I look forward to helping you to make our city a better place.
Katherine Anderson Capitol Hill