Community Involvement Encouraged In Schools

By: Summer Knowles
By: Summer Knowles

July 21, 2005

The educational achievement gap among students in the Charlottesville School System has been a hot topic throughout the school year and officials are in search of a solution.

"The community cannot expect the schools to solve this alone," says Acting Superintendent Robert Thompson.

The achievement gap divides students along socioeconomic and racial lines and for that reason officials believe it's critical the entire community get involved.

"We can't expect the schools to do it all," states Former School Administrator and Book Buddy Mary Reece. Officials like Reece encourage residents to go into the classroom and volunteer with educational intervention programs, like Book Buddies.

"Of all the programs I do, book buddies is the one that gives me the most joy and satisfaction." Book Buddies is a research-based, one-on-one intervention program for first graders. It allows for additional reading instruction in the classroom, something the school system is looking to get more of.

"We rely on the wonderful, trained volunteer tutors we have from our community," says Book Buddies Coordinator Janette Rosenberg. "We could not exist without the community support."

Community support is exactly what Thompson and others believe is the key. "It will create a partnership with the entire city and especially with parents, and I think everyone needs to look at this and address this."

If you're interested in a volunteering opportunity within the school system, you can call (434) 245-2400 for more information.

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