Public education is in turmoil. This is a problem people can quickly agree with, but often struggle to provide a solution to. While many would point to funding as the problem and others to the administration, there are some unique education programs who seem to have found it. Rocketship education is just one such program. This innovative collection of public elementary charter schools services specifically low-income communities. They have brought to the areas that they serve a sense of community as well as effective and direct methods of educating students. Founded in 2006 the nonprofit hopes to address the achievement gap between low-income communities and their better-funded counterparts. They also seek to create sustainable education programs pioneered in support for the community and students.
The essence of their approach is specialized programs that take individual student’s needs into account. Each instructor achieves this by learning how the student best learns and focusing on teaching styles that compliment that need. This is achieved by a mix of attentive teaching and parent involvement. Teachers and parents are required to meet at least once in the student’s home. Not only is this effective in driving parental involvement it also gives the instructor a more defined idea of the child’s individual challenges. A bond is encouraged between the students, teachers, and family.
Rocketship education not only supports students on an educational level but fights on behalf of suffering families. Natural disasters are often the most devastating to the poorest members of society. Essentials lost are not easily replaced and the families often struggle with deposits on new housing or insurance deductibles. When a flood hit San Jose the school responded quickly to the communities needs. They partnered with other local nonprofits and raised over $60,000. From there they distributed the money raised strategically aiming to relieve the pressures on students families. This compassionate and thoughtful gesture may not seem like it, but it also leads to the success of students by relieving stress on families so that they can once again prioritize education. It also reminds families that their school is a part of the local community and will support them and the education of their children.