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Giving Compass' Take:
• Christopher House is a nonprofit running a high-quality charter network that uses a whole family-integrated approach to learning.
• Why is this approach effective and working for kids who experience trauma?
When Mariano Agosto’s fiancée died a year after the birth of their daughter, Melanie, Agosto was scared and lost. A friend suggested a nearby early childhood education center in Chicago’s historic Logan Square neighborhood might be able to help him and his little girl.
Many of the nation’s top preschools have found that the magic ingredient in supporting kids and boosting their academic success is involving parents and providing intensive support to families.
Christopher House, a nonprofit that runs a high-performing elementary charter school and a small network of public preschools in some of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, has infused parental support into its model. And it has taken its efforts beyond the preschool years in an attempt to tackle fade-out, a problem that notoriously afflicts even top preschools.
To make the preschool magic last, the Christopher House network accepts children from newborns to fifth-graders, embracing the whole family as a part of the child’s success from one grade to the next.
In just a few years of operation, the school ranks at the top of Chicago Public Schools in academic performance. Experts and teachers say this success demonstrates that meeting a family’s needs outside of school helps kids focus better in school and, ultimately, achieve more, whether they’re 4 or in fourth grade.
Read the full article about family support in preschool by Jackie Mader at The Hechinger Report