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Because of stunning barriers created by differences in culture and language, the children of Hispanic legal immigrants in Georgia have difficulties learning in the public schools they attend. The community needs to assist these children who attend government schools, especially those ages three to fourteen, to dissolve these barriers which the public schools have failed to tare down.
A large percentage of Georgia’s population are hispanic and their posterity. The hispanic population more than quadrupled from 1990 to 2000 and since then it has been growing at an even faster rate. In addition, one-fourth or our schools today are the children of hispanics. Because of these staggering numbers, the children of hispanic immigrants will make a large part of our future population of not only Georgia but the United States. Therefore, America’s future rests partially on these students and so they should be provided with a decent education in order to live a life that will benefit the society.
The problem is, however, a large percentage of these hispanics students will not get this required education, because of the cultural and language barriers that are not being solved by our government run schools. Marta Tienda, a former director of the Office of Population Research, and Faith Mitchell, the CEO of Grantmakers In Health, explain the reasons for this problem in their book, Hispanics and the Future of America. They state that Hispanics are attending schools with under qualified teachers often practice favoritism and discrimination against hispanic children. The book also explains that the public school’s programs to help dissolve barriers are not sufficient to help these children’s educational needs. In addition, out of the immigrant parents of these children only a small percentage know english and are usually too busy to help their kids with educational needs.
We can see the results of this problem is the community today. Faith Mitchell and Marta Tienda say that there are “low education attainment levels” in hispanic youth. A staggering 28% of hispanics drop out of high school in Georgia and out of those that graduate only 2.4% are hispanic. The two authors point out the one of the leading root causes of this problem is the poor education of children in lower levels, such as preschool and elementary school, and sometimes middle school.
There are currently in place a few organizations to help these children, the most well know being Head Start. Faith Mitchell and Marta Tienda tell us however that: “While attending Head Start programs appear to provoke some benefits, lack of available quality in preschool programs remains an obstacle for some Hispanic children”. In addition, there are so few programs that they can not branch out to every child and most hispanic parents don’t know these programs exist or how to get involved.
The solution to this is the community’s help, specifically focusing on children ages 3-14 where the root of the problems lie. The existing community groups have helped but are not nearly at the size that is needed to address the issue. If the community branched out to the local hispanic population in Georgia, they could reach a larger number of children. Jeannie Ortega, a devoted Christian citizen has branched out to a local apartment building, San Lucia in GA. Her after school program has been thriving, the children being more enthusiastic and successful in their studies, however it has not reached as many children because of the lack of help from the community.
There are several ways in which the the community can help. First, join a local community program that already exist such as school and church programs and non-profit organizations. Second, start your own program such as going to apartments to help these kids in their own homes or picking them up to bring them to facility such as a church. Third, donations to an existing program can aid groups in reaching more hispanic students. Once the community works together to change the problem facing hispanic students we reach enough children to solve this problem and aid the society.
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