KIDS IN TRANSIT TO SCHOOL
Per the 2010 Population Census, NYC is home to approximately 2.0 million children, of which 1.1 million (56%) live in low-income families and 0.6 million (32%) live in poor families. Also, low-income families in NYC do not earn enough to afford basic family necessities; thus, many low-income parents struggle to make ends meet in a city where the cost of living is especially high. Bronx is demographically unique, constituted by Hispanic majority, and has the highest concentration (83.6%) of vulnerable ethnic groups in NYC– Blacks (30.1%) and Hispanics (53.5%).
The fundamental problem is that children in poverty do not enjoy stress-free quality education due to the harsh economic conditions of their under-served parents in expensive NYC. Under-served parents stress out educating their kids – having to transport them to school every morning before proceeding to work in a situation where work starting hours for most parents (usually 6:00am or 7:00am) precede school starting hours (8:00am). The evenings are not different; most of these parents align their closing hours with those of their kids, thereby denying themselves extra hours of work. These arrangements encourage parental lateness, absenteeism and low productivity, apart from denial of extra income-earning opportunities. Consequently, kids subjected to these challenges risk growing into poorly-educated adults, who cannot land high-income jobs, thereby perpetuating the cycle of transferred parental poverty in the ethnic group.
CMO’s prescription to the educational challenges of NYC’s children in poverty is the model KITS Project, designed as a fee-free intervention to provide child-hosting learning facilities for eligible kids prior to commencement of school hours and after school hours. Each morning between the hours of 5:00am – 7:00am, parents will drop off enrolled kids and CMO will host them at our leased Project Learning Facilities (PLFs) for 2-3 hours before later transporting them by 8:00am to their various schools. In the afternoons after school hours (2:45pm), kids will be picked from their schools to the PLFs for 2-3 hours before being transported back home by their parents.
The morning and afternoon hosting periods will be used for academic work, including helping kids with their home assignments guided by experienced Teachers/Instructors. School Buses will be rented to convey enrolled kids under the care of experienced coordinators. Pediatrician/Clinical Psychologist consultant will take care of kids’ health needs.
CMO believes that the Project will not only offer the beneficiary kids the best opportunities for educational advancement in life, but it will also free up enormous man-hours for parents to stay longer at work, or to seek higher-paid jobs to enable them to make more money to cater for their family needs. Eventually, the 600-odd annual beneficiaries are expected to receive well-grounded child development and educational foundation to facilitate (an otherwise unattainable) upward movement along the socio-economic ladder of success and prosperity in life.