In the spring of 2020, COVID-19 forced the entire nation to make unprecedented adjustments to life as we all know it. Its overall negative impact on the educational programs and systems designed for students Prek-12th grade has been overwhelming for parents, students and teachers.
Today, with leveraged online programs, resources, services, relationships and inclusion that transcends self-interest, Educating Young Minds (EYM) primary mission is to bring awareness and facilitate an effective response and outcome to the high and increasing levels of academic, emotional, health/wellness and basic needs exacerbated by COVID-19. This initiative's overarching purpose is to bring resources with varied combined platforms that engage our youth, families and stakeholders in solving academic, educational, economic, health/wellness and emotional issues and problems guided by developmentally appropriate principles with sustainable-scalable outcomes and accountability
Historically, students impacted the most in times of crisis are from low-income, underserved, marginalized populations. More than 65% of Black-African American/Latino students have fallen 1-2 grade levels behind in basic math, sciences, STEAM and/or reading comprehension. Students were given textbook/paper assignments without online instruction. Most of these students test below grade level and do not have the academic discipline needed to complete their assignments independently. Online teachers felt inadequately prepared, students say they are only given busy work and have fallen further behind, and parents say they do not have the tools or discipline needed for online learning and/or are afraid that their children will not be prepared to pass tests needed for grade transitioning beyond COVID-19.
At Educating Young Minds (EYM) we immediately realized we must adjust and not only provide online educational resources and leveraged services but assist in finding and providing food, clothing, masks, gloves, sanitizers, COVID-19 information/outreach materials, WIFI, computers, drawing tablets, manipulatives, textbooks, novels (required reading), training, counseling, mentoring and encouragement. Educational tools, hardware, software, and school supplies needed for classes, workshops and seminars according to each students individualized education plan are also provided.
March of 2020, without closing our doors, programs or services, EYM leveraged its online programs and services to positively impact lives, provide resources to parents and families, train and support teachers and empower students with the academic and emotional tools needed. Teachers and parents are trained to work with online interface that allows several students and a teacher to work at the same time, one on one or in study groups. Patience, online discipline, the importance of safety, accountability and responsibility are taught to be valued and respected. Students have access to varied leveraged online community educational programs and resources, tutorial (2nd-12th grades), SAT/college and career workshops, health/wellness resources, computer tech programs (coding, augmented reality and virtual worlds), early learners curriculum, parent resources as well as additional resources on EYM’s digital platform ACCESS/NO EXCUSE (ANE). By December of 2020, registration on EYM’s online leveraged community services/resources and EYM’s digital platform Access/No Excuse written by CEO Angeles Echols and designed/programmed by EYM alumni Todd Chisom, Adam Craig, and EYM staff more than 10 years ago, increased by more than 175%. Their inspiration and skills enabled EYM to expand/extend its quality programs and services to the digital world.
EYM leveraged its online interactive platform of programs, resources and digital tool Access/No Excuse (ANE) with the following supporters/partners: Ray Charles Foundation, LA County, Amazon Studios, EON Reality, GRX, Treadwell Entertainment Group, Union Bank, City National Bank, The South Los Angeles Community Empowerment Development Corporation (SLACEDC), Platinum Entertainment, Trilogy Mentors, Bahati Foundation, Banks Family Tech, Caltrans, principals, teachers, counselors and parents. We are grateful that each of you came to the aid of families and children, unconditionally with compassion, grace and needed tools and resources!
For those of you who are new to EYM, EYM is more than a tutorial and resource center, it’s a second home with customized programs and services that addresses the educational, cultural and social needs and norms, of our families. But most importantly its a place where people care, and their children are academically and emotionally safe!
We look forward to sharing our newest online program EYM LIVE - 4.0 with you and students in the very near future. With resources and accessibility there are no acceptable excuses because internet-based learning will remain a mainstay of modern education during COVID-19 and Beyond.
Thank you for your support of our mission and programs during this time of uncertainty and despair. With your continued assistance, we will increase our capacity and continue to positively impact the lives of students with inspiration, motivation, and direction, while bringing academic and emotional stability, and technological advancements in education, to families in need.
Everyone please be safe and well. Take care of one another by wearing a mask and/or “staying home.”
Together, with God’s grace, we will continue to get through this!