Poverty, crime, teen pregnancy, and unemployment are part of many East Durham residents’ daily lives, and rates of academic success are among the lowest in North Carolina. But the East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) aims to change all that. A partnership among local government, nonprofit, faith, and school organizations, EDCI is focusing on the community’s most promising resource – its children. Since 2008, EDCI has increased access to early childhood educational opportunities, strengthened local elementary and secondary schools, helped establish high quality enrichment activities are in…
Good schools are, of course, essential, but not alone sufficient for the long-term academic, economic, and civic success of our nation’s young people. Rather, an integrated set of supports is needed in families, in all facets of communities, and, yes, in schools. Research, community wisdom, and common sense tell us that families, schools and the broader community need to work together to create integrated systems of support for each child—an approach that we term youth systems.
The East Lake community in Atlanta faced high rates of violence and unemployment and low graduation rates. Now, more than 20 years after its decline, the neighborhood — and life for its young people — has dramatically improved.
This report examines, from the perspective of young people themselves, the roles that relationships with adults and peers play in decisions about staying in, leaving and returning to high school.