Across the country, the education gap is directly correlated to differences in socio-economic class. This is why schools in poor areas don’t tend to perform as well as those in wealthier areas. Unfortunately, the ones who suffer from this situation are the students. This is what Teach for America was founded to correct.
Teach for America hires quality teachers and provides them with specialized training. The organization then works with school districts across the country to get their teachers placed in the schools that need the most help. These teachers then use the Teach for America program to help the students reach educational levels that put them on par with students their age all across the country.
Teach for America first came to Northwest Indiana in 2007. This first year, 12 teachers were brought into schools across the region. East Chicago, specifically, has seen impressive growth in the level of students’ education under Teach for America. In each of the past three years, East Chicago students have experienced an average of one and a half to two years of academic growth. This helps to make East Chicago students competitive when it comes to college and job marketplaces.
To date, Teach for America has placed 35 corps members (teachers/administrators) in East Chicago schools. This year, School City of East Chicago and East Chicago Lighthouse have benefitted from the instruction of six corps members, two alumni teachers, three alumni leaders and one alumni principal from Teach for America. More importantly, a total of 500 East Chicago families have been helped by Teach for America. This is partially because so many Teach for America alumni believed enough in East Chicago to stay passed their original program membership.
For the past several years, Teach for America in East Chicago has been funded by Foundations of East Chicago. For more information on the program, visit foundationsec.org.