Our kiddos are headed back to school! Although our current environment can be cause for concern, our children will benefit greatly from getting to see their friends and teachers again. It is miraculous what a sense of loving community can provide a child in need.
The CDC recently published an article that supported the need for children to return to school this Fall. It shed light on the significant short-and long term social, emotional, and behavioral health, economic well-being, and academic achievement impacts on students if schools remain closed. The article also highlighted the disproportionate harm caused to low-income and minority children and those living with disabilities, because these populations typically do not have access to private instruction and the care they need. Many of these children depend on the school system to provide food, special education services, counseling, and after-school programs. Furthermore, school can provide a sense of safety and community for children that need it most which has been proven to lower levels of depression, thoughts about suicide, social anxiety, and sexual activity, as well as higher levels of self-esteem and more adaptive use of free time.
I want to take a moment to thank our REACH One mentor volunteers who dedicate their time to helping children feel safe and connected to a caring adult. Our staff knows that it has not been easy to navigate your relationships through this pandemic, but know you are truly making a difference and potentially saving a child’s life.
I encourage anyone who wants to know more about the benefits of children returning to school to read the CDC’s article titled “The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall”. Have a wonderful end to summer and stay safe!