Education Evolutions // Impact Insights

Accountable adult community ensures students shine

The Lana team in Washington, DC has facilitated an accountable adult community to support student-athlete success.

The proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” is commonly heard both at home and in the classroom. It’s appealing to the head as well as the heart. Children benefit from an accountable adult community that educates for them, and cares for them, too. In practice, it requires effort and collaboration to build a community of adults who can provide care in a consistent manner in the modern age. At Lana’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) program, we collaborate with teachers, families, and athletic coaches to build the villages mentioned in the famous proverb.

We recently formed a partnership with the Cardozo Education Campus football team. Student-athletes at Cardozo are required to attend three hours of tutoring per week to be eligible for sports. Our program offers the tutoring necessary to fulfill this requirement, so our partnerships have been beneficial for student athletes’ success. For example, the Cardozo Men’s Varsity Basketball Team not only demonstrated rapid grade improvement but also went on to place second in the State Championship this past season. Our partnership with Coach Omar Fox of the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team allowed us to cultivate an adult community who were all aware of each basketball player’s needs as students. Already, we have seen increased attendance in our program of football players through our communications with the football coaches. Here are the steps we used to form these communities:

1. Identify all your stakeholders

When we learned of the football coaches’ interest in our program, we asked Cardozo’s athletic director about who led the football team. We learned that there was not one, not two, but three coaches involved! Corresponding with each coach was critical for our success.

2. Find the correct communication style

In our age of mass technology, it’s important to identify a simple yet crucial question: text, email, or call? When we obtained all the football coaches’ contact information, we asked what style of communication was most convenient for them. Given their busy schedules, text messages were universally the best format. We have found that their response rate is far higher when utilizing text messages, improving our communication.

3. Conference with all stakeholders to create unity

Finally, it is crucial to make time for in-person conversations. We set up a meeting with all three coaches earlier this month to set collaborative goals for students. As a result, all coaches are aware of the time that students should arrive, the expectations we all have for their behavior, and how to check on students’ attendance. In addition, we gained valuable insight into what the students’ needs are both on and off the field.

Since our conference with all three coaches, we have seen our attendance rise by 38% from the first week of March to the second week of April. By communicating and collaborating with the adults in our community, we are building the village so that we can raise our children to shine as brightly as they can.

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