Enter Week 2: Children are on a roll!!
So your fabulous coordinators have been hard at work and are off to a great start getting all their work done. We’ve learned some pretty interesting and hard hitting facts about children, especially in the city of Boston, in the past week.
For instance, over the past two decades, Boston public schools have made huge strides in improving the education system. More schools have been built and districts are putting in energy to improve childhood education. Since the incorporation of the state exam, Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), schools have been pushing for excellence and high standards. This test assesses knowledge in English, Math, Science, and History. Boston Public Schools have slowly been improving as more students are scoring in the “Proficient” range, but there is still a large amount of the Boston student population that scores in the “Needs Improvement” range.
Outside of academics, Boston has been building community centers and improving after school programs to keep children off the street. Roxbury has gone through dramatic changes in just the past ten years. Crime has gone down and more nursery and community centers have opened for low-income families. Your two coordinators have many sites planned to go into Roxbury and work with the kids, which will be a great opportunity to for others to see the growth in the city.
Another serious issue that we have been looking into is child abuse in the Massachusetts state area. Child abuse is severely under reported since many of the children are too young to come forward. Last year, Boston Medical Center had 454 suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. Also, in this year alone, there was a 34% increase in reported cases. The problem with reporting child abuse in Massachusetts is that the hospitals receive little to no funding for child abuse and neglect programs. The hospitals could be doing so much more given that they received money for the services that could potentially save many lives.
While we’ve been doing a lot of research on our issue area, we still have a ways to go. This information may be hard to cope with sometimes, but the great thing is that education of these issues can lead to great service of these issues. We hope to make this FYSOP a great a contribution to the children’s issues of Boston!