To make up for lost learning during the pandemic, The Community Learning Collaborative, which consists of four prominent leaders from the YMCA, Latinos for Education, The Base, and Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion work with Boston-area teens and launched 12 learning pods across the city for Black and brown students. James Morton, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston, and Amanda Fernandez, CEO, and co-founder of Latinos for Education, explain the importance of offering children they serve an equitable learning experience through COVID-19 by creating free minority-focused learning pods.
Serving Black and Latinx students and families in Boston
Learning pods support holistic student development
About Community Learning Collaborative
The Community Learning Collaborative was created as a short-term response to the pandemic with a long-range goal of re-imagining education for students in Boston. The Community Learning Collaborative is reimagining education by driving equity for students.
Comprised of community organizations led by leaders of color — YMCA of Greater Boston, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, The BASE, and Latinos for Education — the Community Learning Collaborative is building an integrated continuum of services for Black and Latinx students and families. The project imagines what would happen if community leaders banded together to provide youth in their programs a shot at equitable education in the city. As a result, the project has created learning pods, free of charge to families, to provide high-quality academic support, social emotional development, health and wellness, recreation, arts, movement, and food in a fun and engaging environment.
In addition to addressing the unique and immediate challenges facing working families over the 2020-21 school year in Boston, the whole child focus incorporates long-term interventions such as culturally appropriate curricula that leads to positive self-identities for children of color as well as immediate needs of food insecurity and hunger by providing healthy and nutritious meals and snacks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated disparities experienced by low-income Black and Latino children. These inequities often result from limited access to academic, enrichment and out-of-school opportunities available to children of wealthier households. As a result, Black and Latino children are less likely to graduate from high school, attend college, secure gainful employment and accumulate wealth — all outcomes that can be mitigated with equitable access to educational opportunities. Children’s potential is equally distributed, but opportunity is not.
We are reimagining public education in Boston. Our resolve is fueled by the fierce urgency of now and knowing that if society fails to educate all of its children, then it has failed all of its children.