We have long awaited for school to return to “normal” post-COVID-19, but is what we consider “normal” best for our students?
The pandemic transformed the education system for learners, educators, and parents. Parents and caregivers became teachers, and the curriculum is no longer held within four classroom walls. The pandemic left parents and caregivers no choice but to become more involved in their child’s learning experience. JASON Learning (JASON) wants to keep that momentum and help school districts foster a community learning culture and extend curricula beyond the classroom into the home and community.
Involving the community in local education programs not only brings more impactful learning for students, but it allows for more opportunities for parents to be involved in education. Unless parents are regularly involved in Parent-Teacher Associations/Organizations, they may feel disengaged from their child’s education.
JASON offers transformational opportunities for communities and parents to connect with local schools with enhanced STEM curricula from Early Childhood to 12th Grade. We do this uniquely through our “localized curricula”—a curriculum that helps learners understand the connections between STEM concepts and real-world career paths relevant to their communities and integrates local workforce knowledge and skills into standards-based STEM subjects.
JASON embeds diverse role model videos into each of our curriculum units—and in a localized curriculum, the role model is someone that lives and works in the community. We believe if children see STEM role models in our curriculum who look like them, they can envision themselves in careers they would not otherwise consider.
Helping students develop an interest in STEM spans the boundaries of in-and out-of-school settings. JASON can help coordinate learning experiences for youth across multiple contexts—from the regular school day to out-of-school time programs. JASON has successfully implemented its localized curriculum grassroots efforts in Doddridge, West Virginia School Districts; Portsmouth, Virginia Summer Programs; and East Central Ohio Summer Programs.
While the pandemic brought unforeseeable challenges and changes to our education system, we believe the impact parents and the community can have on education can be transformational for our students. If you would like to learn more about how JASON Learning can positively impact and better connect your school and community, please visit us at www.jason.org.
Cowritten by Eleanor Smalley and Morgan Cline