The Foundation for Academic Success for At-Risk Children

It’s been a month since our annual Community Back to School Bash, and it is the beginning of a new semester for thousands of children in the South Florida area. With the help of more than 300 volunteers from various organizations such as Spirit of Giving, Junior League of Boca Raton, Maui Spa, , NCCI holdings, Jarden Consumer Solutions and many more, 4,000 children were given supplies and the tools to help them succeed in their new school year.
At-risk children’s performance, much like their non-at-risk peers, are impacted by factors such as student-teacher relationships, parent/caregiver relationships, and peer relationships. A study conducted in 2007 by Catherine Worley of Virginia Tech notes that, “Initial attitudes toward learning are instilled in children in their home environment. Parents who nurture their children’s curiosity about the world, welcome the many questions, and encourage exploration give their children the message that learning is a significant and important process. Another study adds, “When children are raised in a home that nurtures a sense of self-worth, competence, autonomy, and self-efficacy, they will be more apt to accept the risks inherent in learning.”
Peer relationships are also undoubtedly a large influencer of school success. The study notes, “Students naturally want to be liked and to fit in with classmates. This desire represents a burden that often inhibits success in school. Pressure can come in positive as well as negative ways. Students often admire friends who help them with academics or give good advice on the athletic field.” Unfortunately, the study fails to note that some children also often admire their peers who rebel against teachers, faculty and their parents. This too can contribute to academic performance.
The relationships a student has with their teachers, parents and their peers translates back into one thing – motivation. A student is ultimately motivated by the desire to be accepted by their family, friends, teachers or all of the above. However, even if you are the most motivated, hard-working student in the school, can you take a test without a pencil? Can you study for the exam without the textbooks or class notes? Can you follow along in class if you didn’t do the homework? While friendships, family as well as teacher relationships can impact a student’s motivation, it all comes back to preparedness factor. Without access to the proper tools to succeed, it is difficult to do so.
Spirit of Giving, along with all of its partners and member organizations, is proud to have contributed supplies to the 4,000+ in-need students who attended our 2015 Back to School Bash. To find out how your organization can attend next year or to donate supplies, please e-mail or call 561-385-0144.