Giving Compass' Take:

• Elisa González discusses the non-academic support - including mental health and parental interest - that students in difficult situations need. 

• How can funders identify and provide the additional support that students need? How do these needs vary by location? 

• Learn how community schools go beyond academic support to boost grades

When I was talking with teacher Miriam Gaeh from Ortigosa Orphanage, where they pick up low-income girls or in violent situations (such as rapes), she explained that one of the limitations of not being able to provide quality education is that this girls are so focused on their own problems that doesn’t allows them to put their attention in class and get the most out of their education. It is often thought that to improve the quality of teaching we must focus on the infrastructure of the school, which, although is fundamental, we often overlook the importance of a healthy mind to learn. The teacher recommended me that, from experience, it is necessary first to give them affection and love so that they can have hope free of difficulties, and then try to teach them.

The second recommendation has to do with the role that parents contribute to the education of their children. Some time ago we realized that one of the children with whom we worked to learn to read, did not distinguish the letters we taught him even when they were in front of him. And talking with his teacher, he told us that evidently had time with these problems in his eyes, and that even though the teacher has already told his mother about the situation that prevents the child from learning, she hasn’t bought him some glasses.

Read the full article about the needs of students by Elisa González at Medium.