Supporting Education Charities
Access to education is supposed to be a universal privilege for residents of the U.S. The Department of Education exists to create budgets for our public schools nationwide and dole out federal funding to support programs. But there are a lot of other costs associated with attending school that aren’t considered during the budget allocation process. And many existing programs are underfunded.
Many students are challenged by difficulties like finding transportation, learning English, and affording school supplies. These obstacles can prevent even the best students from completing their education on time, if at all. In addition, some students don’t have access to Wifi in their homes and can’t complete their homework without additional assistance. In today’s classroom environment, Wifi has become a necessity for students to research and complete assigned projects on time.
To even out the playing field, many people choose to donate to an education charity to fund programs that fill in the gaps. They look for organizations in their area to support, ones that are familiar with the needs of their community.
Education charities play an important role in the United States education system for students of all ages, from young children to adults. Various organizations exist to enhance the public system’s programs such as charities for arts education and after school tutoring. Students benefit thanks to caring donors, grant programs, and corporate partnerships that supplement their funding from government tax dollars.
Other charities provide funding for children’s scholarships and even more are focused on providing advanced education scholarships for graduate and Ph.D. students. Scholarships allow children and adults to have the opportunity to participate in programs and obtain degrees they couldn’t otherwise afford.
Other education charities advocate for school reform. These organizations work to persuade policy makers, organizing events to raise money for curriculum reform like getting rid of standardized testing and improving the core curriculum at public schools. Without their help, after school and technical education programs might not exist in our schools. Or if they did, they would only be for the students that could afford to pay for them out of pocket.
Together, education charities expand the possibilities for many learners to receive an education in the field they are interested in pursuing. They allow all students to advance with greater equality along the path of achievement.
Most education charities fit into the following categories:
- Early Childhood Education – These are the programs for the youngest students. Typically, the cutoff for early childhood education funds is age eight.
- Youth Education – These are programs primarily for those in elementary and middle school. They consist of additional resources for students like after school care programs and assistance with school supplies.
- Scholarship Funding – These are charities that provide scholarships to advanced students for college and private school. Oftentimes they are privately funded by individuals who want to have a positive impact for an individual.
- Adult Education – These are charities that create continuing education programs for adults who may be reentering the workforce or have experienced underemployment. They often offer additional programs like wardrobe assistance, resume writing, and interview prep.
- Education Reform – These are charities that support legislative efforts to increase funding for schools and education programs. They are funded by caring donors who believe that lobbying for reform is the best way to improve our school systems.
Early Childhood Programs
Early childhood education refers to programs for students from birth up to the age of eight. For most students in the United States, that means up to the third grade. These programs focus on teaching young children basic skills like reading and mathematics. They also encourage young children to be eager about learning.
Such programs became popular after the Enlightenment, when literacy rates skyrocketed and being able to read became the norm. Today, early childhood education programs are considered crucial to learning-development in advanced societies. Children who aren’t given the opportunity to attend preschool often have difficulty keeping up with their classmates in kindergarten and beyond.
Charities for education in developing countries are starting to catch on to the early childhood education trend, as well. The more competitive a nation becomes, the more it invests in young learners.
It’s believed that the earlier a child learns basic reading comprehension skills, the more likely that child is to be academically successful. Early childhood education programs are also known for reducing crime rates and increasing literacy rates. By giving a child a firm foundation in learning, you will have a lifelong impact on their livelihood.
Children’s education charities that specialize in early childhood education include Smart Love Family Services. Founded in 2002, Smart Love is a charity started by a Chicago couple that uses its funding to provide counseling and therapy programs for children with a focus on kids who aren’t yet in kindergarten and are from underserved areas in the city. Their programs involve reading comprehension and basic math skills in addition to the counseling services provided by registered professionals.
Kids charity programs like this one help provide support for students who may be experiencing problems at home or difficulties in the classroom.
Youth education programs are often the first place funding is cut in schools. That’s why it’s so important to support charities that fund these programs. Without your donations, many would not exist.
Before and after school programs like Children’s After School Achievement rely on donations to provide academic tutoring programs and other support, including:
- Nutritious snacks;
- Transportation to the program;
- Assistance with homework;
- An assortment of quality and developmentally appropriate books;
- Educational exercises; and
- Personalized feedback for students.
Other youth education programs provide after school activities for teens. Science Olympiad is one such program that allows American teams to compete in 23 different events relating to scientific disciplines like engineering, earth science, chemistry, and physics. The teams advance from local competitions to a national round for high profile recognition and a small cash prize or scholarship. Students love participating in Science Olympiad because it gives them a chance to travel around the country for competitions and they make new friends along the way.
Reading in Motion is another great charity that helps children read at or above their grade level with summer education programs and year-long in-classroom support for teachers. Supporting Reading in Motion also helps schools afford books and in-classroom libraries for their students.
Waters Today is another awesome community-based charity in Chicago that funds Waters Elementary School art and ecology programs. The school campus features a community garden within a restored prairie and oak savanna as well as an artificial turf field for pick-up games of soccer and baseball. The charity also helps fund afterschool programs.
Many of the best jobs in the United States require you to have a college degree. With the cost of college increasing every year, this has left a large part of our population at a disadvantage when it comes to earning a living wage. Scholarships aren’t just nice to have, they’re an absolute necessity for most students in America.
Some top education charities provide scholarships to students who might otherwise not be able to afford private school or college education. This includes the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation, which has a scholarship fund for Hispanic students in Illinois.
There are also United Negro College Fund Scholarships for those that qualify. UNCF has played a part in helping more than 450,000 students get a college degree since it was started 75 years ago. It’s the largest private scholarship provider for minority students in the United States and gives out more than $100 million per year in scholarships to 10,000 students. They also offer additional scholarships for students who wish to specialize in STEM programs or work in K-12 education after their graduation.
Community foundation scholarships are another kind of scholarship funded by donors who believe in the right to learn for everyone in their community. They often offer funding for students at the bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. levels.
These programs get their funding from individual donors within a community who together establish standards and criteria for whom they will be awarded. Most often, these scholarships are only open to the people who live in the geographical area that the program serves.
For a long time, it was considered embarrassing for an adult to go back to school to complete their education. But in today’s world it’s often a necessity. Today’s workforce has many more highly skilled jobs than ever before, requiring educated people to fill them. Adult education programs are important because they increase the earning potential of people who complete them. It’s almost impossible to live on minimum wage in the United States. Many families struggle to make ends meet and lack the resources needed to improve their education and earning potential.
That’s why it’s so important to support programs that train adults to perform new roles in the workforce. This is especially important as we transition from an economy with many manufacturing jobs into the Information Age, where most positions require some form of technical training on the computer.
Some of the largest charities supporting education have programs targeted at adults to help with this transition. Jane Addams Resource Center is one such charity in Chicago that offers job training programs as well as career matching for people who are looking for a new opportunity.
Adult education programs such as those provided by Jane Addams Resource Center can help homeless and underemployed people land full-time jobs working in technical roles in the Chicagoland area. They also offer resource development programs that help graduates get back on their feet after recovering from an addiction or after being incarcerated. Without these programs, many more adults would be stuck in dead-end jobs where they make minimum wage.
Although the United States offers free education to many of its citizens, these programs often lack the resources to provide books and materials for every student. Depending on what state you live in and the local government, students could need just a little bit more funding or require massive financial restructuring to continue in school.
Many of the best education charities lobby for education reform. Their lobbyists encourage lawmakers and others involved in policy development to increase the budget for education in their state or district.
Charities that advocate for public school reform, such as Raise Your Hand in Chicago, help parents eliminate the inequities in the public school system and improve the public education options for students in Illinois. Charities like Raise Your Hand are crucial advocates for students, teachers, and their schools.
Among other things, these charities also advocate for:
- revisions to school board policies;
- class size limits;
- preventing student information from ending up on privately controlled servers;
- larger budgets; and
- extra staffing for art and afterschool programs.
Do You Want to Help Education Charities Revitalize Our School Systems and Better Educate Our Students?
If you have a passion for education and want to make a difference in the lives of children and adults, donating to a charity is a great way to get started. There are so many different missions out there for you to contribute to.
Many different charities offer important advanced education services to members of our community for learners of all ages. Whether it’s through education reform, early childhood education, youth education projects, or adult learning initiatives, your support is desperately needed.
Participants in such programs funded by charity are better able to overcome poverty and improve their circumstances. They are better able to compete for a better place in the workforce. Play a role in their success by making a donation today.
Learn how to support your charity today.
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