Computers for Youth (www.cfy.org), a national organization with locations in New York, New Jersey, San Franscisco, Los Angeles, Philidelphia, and Atlanta has joined the Net Literacy Alliance. According to CFY’s Bill Rappel and Don Kent’s Net Literacy – our partnership is the perfect relationship because it is completely complimentary and successfully increses digital inclusion.
Please read this important information from Children’s For Youth’s website:
Computers for Youth’s work is built on our belief that the home holds the greates untapped potential for improving children’s academic and life-long success. Compared to the classroom or the after-school center, the home has received the least attention from policy makers and educators. It is where children spend the greatest amount of time (only 13% is spent in the classroom) and where children interact with the adults most interested in their overall success—their parents/guardians.
As a nation, we have long recognized the importance of the home learning environment for pre-school children. Each year, millions of dollars are invested by private foundations and government to help low-income families compensate for shortfalls caused by poverty and lack of parental education. This funding supports cognitively stimulating resources for the home (such as books and television programming) and training in parenting skills. The goal is to help low-income and minority children be “school ready” by the time they start kindergarten.
Yet once children enter school, our nation’s attention on the home learning environment dissipates. The drop-off is steepest just as children enter their pre-adolescent years and advance from primary to middle school. New research has revealed a disturbing correlation. Children’s pre-adolescent years are not only associated with reduced attention on the home learning environment, they are also the years during which academic achievement drops.
The Home Learning Environment
– The greatest disparity in children’s learning environment is in their homes. It is there that low-income children face:
– Lower levels of parental involvement. Research shows that low-income parents are less likely to monitor school assignments, know the names of their children’s teachers or attend school functions.
– Scarce educational resources. Research has shown that book availability for middle-class children is about 12 books per child, while in poor neighborhoods, it is about one book for every 355 children. In addition, only 46% of low-income children have an Internet connection at home, compared to 88% of children in families with incomes above $75,000.
Focus on Middle School Years
CFY’s program purposefully focuses on children in their middle school years because these are the years when:
– Children begin to disengage from academics
– Parents begin to feel less capable of helping with increasingly complex homework assignments
– Research shows the steepest decline in academic achievement
Our nation’s disinvestment in the home learning environment is doing a real disservice to our middle school children, especially those from low-income families. For addititional informaiton, visit our partners at www.cfy.org.