The Role of National Service in Closing the Graduation Gap
National service helps close graduation, opportunity gaps for America’s youth
Great progress has been made over the last decade to reach an 80 percent graduation rate, but for the one in five students still not graduating on time, more hard work is required to achieve the GradNation goal of a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020. For that reason, America’s Promise Alliance presents this paper that illustrates how national service is making a positive impact on young people and closing the graduation gap – from early literacy through high school graduation and beyond. Emerging evidence, described in this white paper, tells us that national service works.
AmeriCorps, a national service initiative celebrating its 20th anniversary on September 12, is meeting critical community needs in education, public safety, health and the environment. Its programs, supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service along with private and nonprofit partners, are providing low-cost, high-impact solutions that are bridging gaps that would otherwise remain as barriers for our nation’s highest-need young people.
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.
The 5 Promises
The 5 Promises represent conditions children need to achieve adult success. The collective work of the Alliance involves keeping these promises to America’s youth. This article relates to the promises highlighted below: