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 to close academic achievement gaps, promote to the next grade and graduate from high school.
After school tutoring
Summer educational programs
Last year, 423 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.
423 children received assistance from the ForKids Education team last year and 136 students received intensive, customized tutoring from our trained staff and volunteers. Students who do not need tutoring receive baseline services including clothing, enrollment assistance, immunizations, and academic monitoring to ensure their continued progress.
By being in ForKids' educational programs for at least 90 days, 94% 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 and two schools. Our educators create a customized plan to focus on each child’s individual needs. Two to five days a week, depending on their location, students work one-on-one with trained staff and volunteers to improve skill levels. The team tracks attendance and behavior, connecting families to community resources as needed. Enrichment activities reinforce learning and help develop social emotional skills.
21st Century Community Learning Centers
Last year,the ForKids Education team was awarded a 3-year 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21stCCLC) grant to serve the Suffolk and Western Tidewater communities. The 21stCCLC program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities to children during non-school hours, particularly students who attend high-poverty schools. Partnering with the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Virginia (BGCSEVA), ForKids has implemented the 21stCCLC program at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Suffolk, a BGCSEVA club site. Students from five Suffolk elementary schools participate.
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, which are essential for successful growth and development into productive adults. A focus on health minds, bodies and wallets includes activities such as earning and spending JumpStart bucks and swimming lessons, while service projects may include visiting a nursing home and cleaning up a local playground. Enrichment activities and field trips are planned each Friday for those students who participate regularly.
34 children participated in Jumpstart in August 2020. Unfortunately the pandemic limited the number of children who could participate last summer.
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.
Due to COVID-19, we were unable to conduct KickStart in 2020.