Support, the Key to Student Success

Helen mentioned that when Native students go to college, they directly and indirectly contribute to sustainable social solutions for their tribal community.  Our American Indian Education Foundation, a program of National Relief Charities, awards 200 American Indian students scholarships every year, and many of them graduate college. We also ask AIEF students to do workshops in their communities to help younger Native students believe they can receive our scholarship and fulfill their dream of getting a college degree. This peer-to-peer approach has been effective in encouraging scholarship applications. AIEF also supports Native education through challenge grants, scholastic resources, and more.

Yet most importantly, student success is based on parental involvement in all aspects of a child’s education. About 86% of the general public believes that support from parents is the most important way to improve the schools and their child’s educational journey. This may be a birth parent or a primary caregiver who is the student’s support system, perhaps a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or even an older sibling. The earlier this involvement begins in a child’s educational process, the more powerful the effects. Unfortunately, the lack of parental involvement is the biggest problem facing schools and student success. Please listen to this excerpt from my radio interview on support, the key for student success.

Decades of research indicate that, when parents are involved, students have:

• Higher grades, test scores, and graduation rates
• Better school attendance
• Increased motivation, better self-esteem
• Decreased use of drugs and alcohol
• Fewer instances of inappropriate behaviors
• Attend post secondary institutions

Family participation in education is two times more predictive of a student’s academic success than their family socioeconomic status. The most consistent predictors of a child’s academic achievement and social adjustment are parental expectations of the child’s academic attainment and satisfaction with their child’s education at school. The more parents participate in their child’ education at every level – in advocating for their child, in decision making and oversight roles, as fundraisers, as volunteers, and/or as home teachers – the better for student achievement.

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