Our communities are only as healthy as our next generation.
40-60% of students in the U.S. are chronically disengaged from school. The top reason students say they disconnect and dropout of high school is because school is not relevant to their lives and future careers.
We must find solutions that actively engage and prepare all students, regardless of socioeconomic background.
Research shows that community connections are critical to a successful career and that real-world learning experiences can increase student engagement. Not surprisingly, 95% of teenagers agree that more real-world learning opportunities would improve school.
 R. Blum. (2005). School Connectedness: Improving the Lives of Students.
 Civic Enterprises, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Peter D. Hart Research Associates (2006). The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts.
 Horatio Alger Association (2005). The State of Our Nation’s Youth 2005–2006.
Living in a network-based society
Networks, connectivity, and creative problem solving are the backbone of our modern society. Yet we’re failing to connect our students to what they need most: people.
We know, and research confirms, that who you know shapes your future as much as what you know.
Growing social capital and futures
The strength of connections between communities and schools varies greatly by income level. It’s a simple fact that students in higher income communities often have better access to resources.
Weaker community connections create less access to informal mentors and diverse networks of support (aka “social capital”), which limits social mobility and academic progress. Social capital is a critical predictor of educational attainment, academic achievement, and economic success.
In short, we must expand who students connect with if we want to expand their future opportunities.
We all have unique gifts to offer the world. If every person in our communities shared their gift, we could create a world where all students can realize their full potential.
CommunityShare helps local communities weave networks that reveal, connect and share people’s unique gifts and create dynamic opportunities to learn together. But networks are only as vibrant as the people and relationships they nurture. Which is where you come in!
Join CommunityShare now and we’ll help you connect to your community so you can start sharing your gifts as an educator, student or community member.
Anyone who has ever graduated from a college, anyone who has ever been able to sustain a good work, has had at least one person, and often many, who have believed in him or her. We just don’t get to be competent human beings without a lot of different investments from others.