Student Achievement

UNC Effort Aims at Minority Boys in Early Childhood

By Jessica L. Tonn — August 29, 2006 1 min read

A professor of social work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Oscar A. Barbarin, has received a $6.2 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support his efforts to raise achievement levels among minority boys.

The five-year grant will go for the Promote Academic Success Initiative, a project aimed at improving the social and academic development of African-American, Hispanic, and American Indian boys ages 3 to 8. It is one of the largest active educational grants awarded by the Battle Creek, Mich.-based foundation.

Oscar A. Barbarin

Mr. Barbarin, a researcher on early-childhood education, especially among black and Latino children, says that achievement gaps for minority boys begin in early childhood and carry over into adulthood.

“Schools are geared toward girls and middle-class kids,” he said in an interview last week.

To help combat the problem, the initiative will focus on building partnerships between school districts and others affecting early-childhood development and early-elementary education—such as Head Start programs, families, and community organizations. The multi-pronged approach will not only bolster the educational achievement of minority boys, but also improve their social and emotional adjustment later in life, Mr. Barbarin said.

“Our work will be guided by the metaphor of a four-legged stool, in which each leg represents what children need to thrive: effective parents, competent teachers, supportive communities, and a spiritual foundation,” he said in a statement announcing the grant. “If one of the legs is wobbly, the others can compensate until the weak leg is strengthened.”

By March, Mr. Barbarin hopes to have selected the three or four communities around the country that will take part in the initiative.

As part of the selection process, districts must show their commitment to the project’s goals by already having built effective relationships with families and community groups.

“Schools cannot do it alone, and they know they can’t do it alone,” Mr. Barbarin said last week.

A version of this article appeared in the August 30, 2006 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Building Leadership Excellence Through Instructional Coaching
Join this webinar for a discussion on instructional coaching and ways you can link your implement or build on your program.
Content provided by Whetstone Education/SchoolMint
Teaching Webinar Tips for Better Hybrid Learning: Ask the Experts What Works
Register and ask your questions about hybrid learning to our expert panel.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Families & the Community Webinar
Family Engagement for Student Success With Dr. Karen Mapp
Register for this free webinar to learn how to empower and engage families for student success featuring Karen L. Mapp.
Content provided by Panorama Education & PowerMyLearning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

[2021-2022] Founding Middle School Academic Dean
New York, NY, US
DREAM Charter School
Hiring Bilingual and Special Education Teachers NOW!
Newark, New Jersey
Newark Public Schools
DevOps Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
User Experience Analyst
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association

Read Next

Student Achievement Opinion What Does COVID-19 Learning Loss Actually Mean?
COVID-19 learning loss is a big topic. Unfortunately, there has been limited discussion on specifically what is being lost.
Tommy Thompson
6 min read
Image shows a speech bubble divided into 4 overlapping, connecting parts.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty and Laura Baker/Education Week
Student Achievement Opinion The Idea of 'Learning Loss' Begs Us to Ask, 'Loss From What?'
A Georgia educator challenges the present thinking about "learning loss" and asks, "What if the loss is a loss in inflicting harm?"
6 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Whitepaper
How Unifying Data Unlocks Students’ Potential
Project Education has made great strides in unifying and leveraging these data resources allows for insights to be harvested to benefit s...

Content provided by Project Education
Student Achievement From Our Research Center Sources and Notes: How We Graded the States (Quality Counts 2021)
Additional details about how the EdWeek Research Center determines the grades given to states and the nation in the 2021 Quality Counts report.
EdWeek Research Center
4 min read