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The mission of Solutions for Better Living (SBL) is to empower communities through the development of strong leadership through public health advocacy, mentorship programs, and educational advancement. Through our programs, SBL strives to strengthen and support the educational experience of children and youth children and youth by fostering critical thinking and problem solving skills, and providing opportunities to create background knowledge. Our initiatives are community driven and are designed to increase civic engagement, promote better health practices for families and assist students in achieving academic excellence.
An overwhelming amount of current literature based on evidence gathered from around the world consistently demonstrates a relationship between health status, educational attainment and economic opportunity. However, the failure of our educational system to address the achievement gap that exists between lower and higher income students is rarely seen as a compelling or significant public health issue. Solving this problem requires insight and expertise drawn from many disciplines and professions, as well as collaboration between families, schools, the larger community and health care providers.
When compared with other students in the Greater Houston area and the state of Texas, schools in the Fifth Ward have fewer students who meet or exceed the minimum standards of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). With the median household income at $15,890 in our targeted communities, parents may not have the ability to provide their children with the additional help they desperately need to achieve their full academic potential. By providing them with additional structured learning opportunities, they will have a chance to improve their academic performance.
Solutions for Better Living (SBL) encourages the creation and operation of new structures for collaboration that will extend high-quality academic enrichment programs to all the children in these areas. Collaboration, rather than competition, is promoted to reduce unintended consequences found in school performance incentive programs. By encouraging collaboration and strategic community planning between the schools, student families, other community members and stakeholders it becomes possible to facilitate better use of available resources and avoid replication of programs and services. By increasing the access of to positive school and community-based opportunities for children, we open the door to academic success.
Our services include an extended-day academic enrichment program that supports higher order thinking skills. We’ve implemented an after-school tutorial program with peer mentoring. Our reading enrichment programs work to increase literacy through special reading techniques and other educational reinforcement programs. We promote basic math skills by improving mathematical reasoning, problem solving, and critical thinking practices and procedures.
- Valerie Jackson
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