Through A City Education, City Year corps members share their experiences working as tutors and mentors in schools in hopes of closing the opportunity gap and ending the dropout crisis.
A quick search on "Orlando, Florida" results in pages of hotels, restaurants, and getaway packages that are supposed to help visitors experience "all that Orlando has to offer." To many people that I've met, Orlando is simply palm trees and two-hour lines at amusement parks, beautiful people in pastel colored pants, and big sunglasses on boats. But as a native Floridian, I can tell you that for people living in Orlando, the vacation vibe isn't the reality. The flashy ads don't show the kids that go to our schools—the ones who can't afford to visit theme parks and don't own sparkling pools.
In our A City Education series, City Year corps members share their experiences working as tutors and mentors in schools in hopes of closing the opportunity gap and ending the dropout crisis.
In Anna Karenina, Tolstoy writes, "All happy families are like one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." I can see some resemblance of this idea in education.
A school may face policy problems like curriculum and funding or it may struggle with larger community problems like poverty, violence and substance abuse. But the schools that overcome those challenges and are the most effective all seem to have something in common: They have a diverse group people who care enough to do whatever it takes to help that school succeed. In fact, it seems to me that the more people who have a vested interest in seeing a school succeed, the more likely it is to happen.