At ForKids, we believe that children’s education is one of the most critical services we can provide to further our mission.
How do we help?
Research shows that children experiencing homelessness are more likely to exhibit educational deficits than other children. So ForKids has built our program to address each student’s individual academic needs, providing customized instruction and the necessary tools for them to prepare for or catch up in school, promote to the next grade and graduate from high school.
After school tutoring
Summer educational programs
Last year, 409 children participated in our education programs
Children experiencing homelessness are more likely to experience unanticipated school moves with a wide range of educational outcomes, such as lower math and reading test scores, increased risk for behavior problems and a higher likelihood of having to repeat a grade. Adolescents who experience school moves due to homelessness are 50% less likely to graduate from high school.
409 children received assistance from the ForKids Education team last year and 159 students received intensive, customized tutoring from our trained staff and volunteers.
By being in ForKids' educational programs for at least 90 days, 95% of our students are promoted to the next grade at the end of the school year.
What education services do we offer?
Beyond the Bell Tutoring
When school-aged children enter one of our housing programs with their family, the ForKids education team evaluates their academic standing. If they fall below their peers in reading and/or math, we offer targeted remediation through our after-school tutoring programs located in five neighborhood-based education sites. Our educators create a customized plan to focus on each child’s individual needs. Two to four days a week students are transported to ForKids sites where they work one-on-one with trained staff and volunteers to improve skill levels. Students who do not need tutoring receive baseline services including clothing, enrollment assistance, immunizations, and academic monitoring to ensure their continued progress. The team tracks attendance and behavior, connecting families to community resources as needed.
ForKids in Schools
In partnership with Norfolk and Suffolk Public Schools, the YWCA and the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, ForKids offers an after-school program that combines educational assistance with enrichment activities directly in select elementary schools. Program activities are based on a comprehensive and integrative model through targeted remediation and social emotional learning (SEL) designed to improve academic success. Small group remediation aligned with students' classroom instruction builds literacy skills and enhances overall competencies. Structured practice on reading and math skills increases proficiency, helps students perform at grade level and builds toward success on SOL testing. Students practice Mindfulness each day.
JumpStart Summer Prep
During the month of August, ForKids’ educators work with school-aged children to help prepare them for success through life skills and service learning. The focus this past summer was on healthy minds, bodies and wallets. Financial literacy activities included earning and spending JumpStart Bucks as well as a visit by a published rising Junior from Norfolk State University, Isaiah Swift, who signed copies of his book Unlock Your Potential. Another key component of success is connecting with the community. Children participated in various service projects such as visiting a nursing home and cleaning up a playground, giving them firsthand experience in choices and actions that have positive impact on others and the community around them. Part of the healthy bodies skill building included a partnership with the YMCA and all the children took part in 8-12 swim lessons.
42 children participated in Jumpstart in August 2019.
KickStart Kindergarten Readiness
During the month of July, ForKids’ rising kindergartners are eligible to participate in our four-week kindergarten readiness program. Students are evaluated to determine which academic areas need improvement, and they meet four days a week to practice writing, fine motor skills, math, and reading comprehension – the skills needed to start kindergarten prepared and in better alignment with their peers.
11 children participated in Kickstart in July 2019.