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The Role of National Service in Closing the Graduation Gap

America’s Promise Alliance, in conjunction with the 20th Anniversary of AmeriCorps on Sept. 12, today released The Role of National Service in Closing the Graduation Gap. The paper illustrates proven techniques that are making a difference by bridging the gaps between caring adults within each community, and success in the classroom and life.

With a GradNation goal to achieve a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020, great progress has been made to reach the 80 percent mark, but for the one in five students still not graduating on time, more hard work is required. That is why America’s Promise is pleased and proud to present this paper that examines the positive impact that national service is making on the lives of young people.

AmeriCorps is a national service initiative that is meeting critical community needs in education, public safety, health and the environment. Its programs, which are supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service, are providing low-cost, high-impact solutions that are bridging gaps that would otherwise not be met.

National service programs that span a young person’s life are highlighted in the following eight areas covered in the report:

·         Ensuring young children are ready for kindergarten;

·         Boosting early reading success;

·         Supporting regular attendance, good behavior and strong course performance (the ABCs);

·         Providing social and emotional support;

·         Extending learning beyond the school walls and the school day;

·         Fostering college and career aspirations;

·         Creating a new pipeline of effective, diverse educators and advocates for high-need schools; and

·         Reconnecting young people who have not graduated back to education and employment pathways.

In addition to having gathered promising practices, this paper offers recommendations to leverage and continue effective programs that work. Never before have these practices been looked at in one comprehensive piece. Please read and share this resource with your networks.

Download and read the full the report here.