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Impact of COVID-19 on Students of Colors, Learning With Purpose

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected about every segment of the economy and our lives. The impact it has and will have on education is something that needs to be addressed immediately. The economy has been known to recover, however, students that fall behind in school usually do not. According to research by McKinsey and Company, students in majority-Black schools are now 12 months behind students in majority-White schools.

COVID-19 restrictions have compelled school districts nationwide to deliver teaching virtually. Remote learning poses unique challenges to underserved students. Minorities students are more likely to have parents that have become unemployed during the pandemic and are also more likely to be affected by death and illness due to COVID-19. Thus, these factors increase the likelihood that vital tools such as internet access and computers may not be available in the home.

Other factors that have constrained students of color in their path to learning include mental health and access to resources. According to McKinsey et al, parents of black and Hispanic students reported higher rates of concern for their children's academic performance and mental health. Children grieving the loss of caregivers and the loss of financial income can have detrimental effects on their progression through school. Historically, black, and brown parents have had to work lower-paying jobs and longer hours. This also limits the parents’ ability to spend extra time supporting their children's educational needs through soliciting pertinent services essential for success including tutoring and counseling.

Thus, we in BASSA have developed the “BASSA Grassroot K-12 Mentoring & Tutoring" program. This program aims to help struggling K-12 students in math, reading, and career planning during the after-school hours to help students learn with purpose. Students that fall behind early in reading and algebra are less likely to graduate high school and go to college. We are already beginning to see the effects of COVID-19 on education. Our goal is to close the gap that had already been opened before the pandemic and to minimize the long-term impact of COVID-19 in our school system. Our program aims to increase minority student academic success and support them toward their long-term academic, social, and professional goals.

Signed, the leadership of BASSA


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