MUSE January/ February 2019

Page 14


Closing the Academic Achievement and Opportunity Gap – Parents, We Can Do This! By Mary Ann Bash

Each One Teach One tutors effectively help close the achievement gap among students of color. Photo by Terri Baldwin

As the Denver community engaged in conversations about what it needs in its new Superintendent, recurrent issues were “close academic achievement and opportunity gap based on race, ethnicity, and income level,” “access to the highest quality education to help reach full potential regardless of race, ethnicity, and income,” and “meaningful community engagement.” A solution may not be at the top, but right in front of us – with you and your neighbors. Each One Teach One: No More Gap (EOTO) translates those deeply entrenched issues into daily action at Marie L. Greenwood Academy and, thanks to a Buell Foundation grant, now at McGlone Academy ECE and Kindergarten students. EOTO adult tutors learn about the 30 millionword-gap that predicts which children will struggle to read on grade level in third grade. To close that achievement and opportunity gap, kids can’t wait, so parents step forward and receive intensive professional development to learn to have daily rigorous, but joyful, conversations with small groups of children in ECE – third grade classrooms and with their own children at home. Independent research by the Evaluation Center at the University of Colorado Denver documented that when children have Each One Teach One in kindergarten and first grade, they are almost three times more likely to be reading on grade level at the end of first grade than children at schools that don’t offer Each

One Teach One. Parent tutors help close the gap in a school with 95 percent students of color and 98 percent on free and reduced lunch, a reflection of income. This proven solution engaging dozens of parents could change the reading achievement statistics among students of color in Montbello if implemented widely at all of our elementary schools. Meet our current team of Montbello EOTO tutors – adults who may reflect your own education in DPS or culture and are meaningfully engaged in the community, increasing Montbello children’s achievement. PARENTS, WE CAN DO THIS! Yoloxochil Bárron – “After my parents divorced, my family moved a lot, so I attended many DPS schools but graduated from an alternative school. Not only has EOTO taught me to help children establish a good learning foundation, I have also learned how to better help my daughters with reading.” Sharleen Clark – “Mique, hola, hello. I am a proud American Indian of the Ute Mountain Tribe. As I raised my 5 daughters as a single mom, I taught them to reach for graduating from college. It worked and for me too. I love working with kids and connecting with them as I teach them new words in Each One Teach One.” Latoya Erskine – “I am the daughter of immigrants from Guyana, a country in South America, and a first-generation college student. I was born and raised in Denver and graduated from Marie L. Greenwood Academy and George Washington High School. After graduating from Cornell University in May, I returned to EOTO where my love for education and my passion for service work were inspired while in high school. I love EOTO because it gives children the joy of learning through rigorous conversations about the world.” Barbara Rodriguez – “My husband grew up in Montbello schools and I was born and educated in Germany. As a stay-athome mom of three DPS students, I am honored to be an EOTO tutor and know we must recruit more parents and community members as tutors, so every DPS school can reap the academic and social benefits of EOTO for all its students.” Bonnie Sáenz – “I grew up in West Denver and my husband and I and our 3 oldest children are DPS graduates. I am so grateful to now be part of the Montbello community and an EOTO parent tutor, so my 2 youngest children and the children I teach every day will benefit from all I’ve learned.” Edna Taylor-Watkins – “I was at Smiley Middle School when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. We kept moving so I attended three DPS high schools. Mom needed me at home more than at school. More than anything, I want my children and grandchildren to feel the joy of school that EOTO gives them.” You can deliver what the community is begging for from its new Superintendent. Join the EOTO mission: e-mail Y

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition – January/ February 2019


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