The Community for Learning Program: A Synopsis
Margaret C. Wang
Laboratory for Student Success at
Temple University Center for Research in
Human Development and Education
Nothing can be counted as progress in a community until its children and youth are well served and show healthy development and steady, sustained advances in learning. When children and youth lack the care they need, when they see too little progress and promise in their own lives as well as in their families and neighborhoods, they lose hope and motivation for schooling success. Such is the sad story of many students in our nation's schools, where disinvestment of all kinds—economic, professional, and social—is the pattern. There is simply no justification for inaction in the face of this serious deterioration in the lives and learning opportunities of so many of our children and youth.
But this view is only part of the entire picture. Despite various difficulties, many children and youth manage to rise above their problems and mature into healthy, competent, well-educated adults who lead productive lives. Children are remarkably resilient; they respond readily to caring adults and a supportive community. If only we can find the means to magnify the “positives” in the life of every child, we can rekindle the hope for transforming education into a system that fosters the educational resilience and learning success of the diverse students in our nation's schools.
This concern for improving the prospects for educational success and life circumstances of children and families sparked the design and implementation of the Community for Learning program at the Laboratory for Student Success, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory at Temple University Center for Research in Human Development and Education.