What will Thanksgiving look like for you this year? A juicy turkey and a large scoop of mashed potatoes? Your extended family crowded in a kitchen laughing and eating and sharing crazy quarantine stories?
For many Americans, Thanksgiving is a time of food and family and togetherness. I have fond childhood memories of playing with my cousins in the chilly November air and taking breaks inside to sneak cookies and pieces of pie before dinner. We would gather around the table, thanking each other for cooking certain dishes, never stopping to consider the fact that other families do not have the luxury of ten pie options for dessert.
Food insecurity is defined by Feeding America as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life.” A statistic stated in Dallas News reported that over 100,000 children are being raised in poverty in Dallas County. That means one in three kids in Dallas won’t have a Thanksgiving that looks like ours, and this is a trend seen throughout the nation. What seems like a given to us is an uncertainty – or even an impossibility – for others.
A household’s uncertainty of where its meals will be coming from – if they come at all – creates an environment of stress, anxiety, and fear. This takes a toll on children in the household. Their grades begin to slip because they can no longer focus. Studies included in the OEDC Equity and Quality Education publication indicate that “students from low socio-economic backgrounds are twice as likely to be low performers, implying that personal or social circumstances are obstacles to achieving their educational potential.” Educate. Radiate. Elevate. is dedicated to providing tutoring and support to children aged K-12 in poverty. E.R.E. teaches personalized strategies to help with anxiety, emotional self-regulation, and focus. We believe in approaching the students holistically, focusing on improving their quality of life, not just through their academic needs, but their emotional, social, and mental needs as well. E.R.E. employs a diverse group of highly qualified tutors, all with degrees ranging from Bachelors to Ph.D. These tutors are trained to seek out what the student may be experiencing in his/her environment and to utilize a holistic approach, empathy, educational equity, and cultural responsiveness. When we attack the root of a problem, we can resolve the issue.
How can you show your gratitude this Thanksgiving? If you feel a pull to serve children affected by poverty in your area, donating to E.R.E. is a perfect way to show your support! Not only will donations help train and compensate our tutors, but each donor can also have the option of providing mobile internet service, tablets, or four months of 1-on-1 online tutoring for our students, based on the amount chosen. Helping to fund our tutors and operations is a unique and impactful way for you to give back this giving season.