"The key to preventing student
drop-out is the promotion of positive parental involvement," said
Dr. Kerby T. Alvy at the Parent and Family Engagement Meeting hosted
by the America's Promise Alliance held in Washington, D.C.
on April 7,
purpose of the meeting was to determine what will be advocated at
the 100 Drop-Out Prevention Summits that are being organized by the
America's Promise Alliance.
The summits (which will
take place in every state and in cities with the highest drop-out
rates) are a response to what has been called the "silent epidemic"
of student drop-out.
America's Promise Alliance indicates
that as many as 30 percent of all public school students nationwide
drop-out, and that the rate is closer to 50 percent for students of
African and Latino descent.
Dr. Alvy, a child psychologist
who represented the National Effective Parenting Initiative and the
Center for the Improvement of Child Caring emphasized that wide
scale parenting education to assist parents in how best to encourage
their children's academic growth and achievement must be part of
every community plan.
Shown here with
Ralph Smith, Vice President, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and
Marguerite W. Kondracke, President and CEO, America's Promise Alliance,
Dr. Alvy further indicated that such education should begin during
the preschool years and continue throughout elementary and secondary
Statistics show dropouts are
twice as likely to be unemployed. They are three times more
likely to live in poverty -- and eight times more likely to wind up
in prison. And children
of dropouts are twice as likely to become dropouts themselves. Dropouts from the class of
2006-07 will cost the nation an estimated $329 billion in lost wages
and lost productivity over their lifetimes, says the Alliance.
Dr. Alvy further pointed
out that educational technology now exists through which
all parents can learn the skills and concepts to help them raise
academically successful children.
"Our nation has developed
world class parenting education programs for parents of children of
all ages and from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds,' he
stated. "These programs
need to become available to every parent in every
He provided numerous examples
of these research-based parenting programs, including the trio of
national model programs of the Center for the Improvement of Child
Caring, the Confident Parenting, Effective Black Parenting and Los
Ninos Bien Educados programs.
"There even exists a blueprint
or model for how communities can right now bring these valuable
programs to all parents, the Organizing Los Angeles for Effective
Parenting Project. This
project could be adopted by other counties and cities. It should be highlighted at
the various summits," he concluded.
The America's Promise Alliance is the
nation's largest partnership network focused on improving the
well-being of young people.
It is a nonpartisan alliance of corporations, nonprofit
organizations, and foundations including such groups as the American
Pediatric Society, the Child Welfare League of America, the
America, the Annie E. Casey
Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Ford Motor Company
Fund. They view these
dropout realities as a symptom of not providing millions of
America's children with the adult and
community support they need to fulfill their potential as
individuals and citizens.
Alliance is led by former Secretary of
State Colin L. Powell and his wife, Alma J. Powell. Mr. Powell served as
founding Chairman and Ms. Powell serves as Chairwoman. She indicates that the
intolerable drop-out rate is "not just a problem of our schools and
teachers. It's a
problem for all of us."
That is why the upcoming summits will bring together all
sectors of the community to learn about the causes and consequences
of dropouts, and to arrive at practical plans to address this
FIND OUT ABOUT:
Organizing Los Angeles
for Effective Parenting Project
Center for the
Improvement of Child Caring
PARENTING PROGRAMS, VIDEOS, BOOKS and
Effective Black Parenting, and Los Ninos Bien Educados
Parents on Board!
Parent Involvement Discussion Program
Parents on Board!
Parent Involvement Program Video Library
Gateway to Academic
Beyond the Bake Sale:
The Essential Guide to Family-School
Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and
School, Family and
Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for
Connection: Theory, Research and