Helping Educators Meet Students’ NeedsProject led by Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
About the project.
In the Foundation’s partnership with First Book, a national nonprofit and social enterprise developed to connect educators serving children in underresourced communities with high-quality books and educational tools, we have partnered to reach more than 30,000 children across Appalachian Ohio so far. But our partnership has reached beyond connecting educators with the books and educational resources they need for the children they serve.
Through town halls, focus groups, and a survey designed to hear from and learn from the expertise of educators across the region, we learned what issues and challenges are facing Appalachian Ohio’s educators. Far ahead of any other needs were the significant impact of trauma and a lack of basic needs on our region’s children. Carrying the impacts of struggles outside the classroom into schools, too many of our region’s children are struggling to learn in the face of challenges outside of school walls. Our educators are calling for training, supports, and tools to help them meet these children’s needs.
In the next phase of our partnership with First Book, we will be building the tool kits and designing the resources that will help educators face these challenges in their classrooms and provide the children of Appalachia whom they care for every day with the care, support, and resources they need to learn and thrive. This work will be built upon what we heard from educators working every day in our communities to serve Appalachian Ohio’s children.
Find out more about what we learned from educators in this column in the Columbus Dispatch by the Foundation’s President & CEO.
FAO staff comments.
Through the Foundation’s work, we see the effects and challenges far too many families in our region face from generational poverty or the effects of substance use disorder. Hearing from educators through town halls and focus groups gave us a new opportunity to hear directly from those educators who are committing their careers, time, and lives to the children of Appalachian Ohio. They are dedicated, passionate, and relentless in their work to help the children in their classrooms every day learn, feel encouraged, and be inspired. And yet, far too many of these educators expressed barriers that were facing these children and therefore their classmates and teachers.
Through the Foundation’s Education Pillar, we are working to create new opportunities for our region’s students and educators, and we are committed to doing this by listening to what educators have to tell us and by connecting them with world-class resources and experts like our partners at First Book.
We can’t wait to be a part of designing the tools that can help our educators in their work.