Thursday, May 7, 2015

Poor Families Improve the Grades of their Children

The Family Independence Initiative actually does things when politicians fail

Improving Kids' Grades and Attendance

Consistently over the last 14 years, FII has seen 70% to 80% of kid’s grades and/or attendance improve within FII enrolled families. These improvements do not seem to correlate to any particular school or education program. One recent example had us wanting to delve deeper.
In 2013, FII's data division, Analytics4, noticed that the grades of Sonia's children improved dramatically. When we looked into it, we found that with the support of a loan, Sonia was able to buy a car. Previously, she had to take several bus trips to get her kids to school and herself to work. Because of unreliable buses and the realities of getting three kids to school, she was often stressed, late for work, and the kids often late for school.
Now that she has a car, her kids are not late or missing classes and their grades have gone up. And the whole family benefits from Sonia's decreased anxiety. Researchers are now looking at the impact that family stress has on kids and FII will be delving deeper into the issue of stress as well as the nonlinear self-determined solutions families are chronicling in their FII journals. 
If you are interested, as FII is, in the well-being of children and their educational outcomes, then we have to expand our view of what can support a family in becoming more stable and reducing the stress they experience from being poor. 

See our materials for hints for change.

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