5 Innovative Educational Organizations In California

Getting a good education is one of the most important things a young person can do, but not everyone has access to the same opportunities. Luckily, organizations like the ones listed here prepare students for success, in academia and beyond. If you want to help provide kids with the tools they need to have a bright future, consider supporting these groups. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

California Groups Helping Students Get A Quality Education

Organization Headquarters Location Mission
The Campaign for College Opportunity Los Angeles, CA Work to ensure that all Californians have an equal opportunity to attend and succeed in college in order to build a vibrant workforce, economy, and democracy
Techbridge Girls Oakland, CA Excite, educate, and equip girls from low-income communities by delivering high quality STEM programming that empowers a girl to achieve economic mobility and better life chances
Summit Public Schools Redwood City, CA Prepare a diverse student population for success in a four-year college and to be thoughtful, contributing members of society
Kidango Fremont, CA Inspire children for academic success, empower families to achieve their goals, and strengthen community
The Tech Interactive San Jose, CA Inspire the innovator in everyone through hands-on activities, experimental labs, and design challenge experiences that empower people to innovate with creativity, curiosity, and compassion

Benefits Of Higher Education

  • Students gain new life experience
  • Graduates earn more money over time
  • Opens minds up to new perspectives
  • Gives students a chance to network with their peers
  • Provides more career opportunities
  • Improves critical thinking skills
  • Allows students to realize where their passions lie
  • Earning a diploma comes with a sense of accomplishment

High School Graduation Rates By State

As of the 2016-17 school year, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics

State Graduation Rate State Graduation Rate
Alabama 89.3% Montana 85.8%
Alaska 78.2% Nebraska 89.1%
Arizona 78.0% Nevada 80.9%
Arkansas 88.0% New Hampshire 88.9%
California 82.7% New Jersey 90.5%
Colorado 79.1% New Mexico 71.1%
Connecticut 87.9% New York 81.8%
Delaware 86.9% North Carolina 86.6%
Florida 82.3% North Dakota 87.2%
Georgia 80.6% Ohio 84.2%
Hawaii 82.7% Oklahoma 82.6%
Idaho 79.7% Oregon 76.7%
Illinois 87.0% Pennsylvania 86.6%
Indiana 83.8% Rhode Island 84.1%
Iowa 91.0% South Carolina 83.6%
Kansas 86.5% South Dakota 83.7%
Kentucky 89.7% Tennessee 89.8%
Louisiana 78.1% Texas 89.7%
Maine 86.9% Utah 86.0%
Maryland 87.7% Vermont 89.1%
Massachusetts 88.3% Virginia 86.9%
Michigan 80.2% Washington 79.4%
Minnesota 82.7% West Virginia 89.4%
Mississippi 83.0% Wisconsin 88.6%
Missouri 88.3% Wyoming 86.2%

How to Encourage Kids to Read

A great way to start is to get a bookshelf for your child's room. If they have access to their own collection of books, it'll be easy for them to read at their own pace. And if they're looking at the shelf everyday, reading will always be on their mind. It's also important to give your kids a comfortable place to sit. This can be anything from a rocking chair to a couch to a dedicated reading nook. If they have a space that's just for them, it makes reading time all the more special. As they grow, your young ones will start to read more challenging books with words they don't know. Encourage them to look up unfamiliar terms in the dictionary so they can expand their vocabulary. Finally, if you're having trouble getting your kid interested in books in the first place, try bridging the gap between visual media and literature with graphic novels.

Education In Society

In Depth

A good education is imperative to a child's intellectual, social, and economic wellbeing, but unfortunately not everyone has equal access to the learning resources they need in order to thrive in these areas. Thankfully, there are plenty of groups working to correct this by developing and implementing dynamic programming that sets kids up on a path to success. In no particular order, here are five organizations using innovative methods to make sure that young people across California get the quality education they deserve.

For #1 we have The Campaign for College Opportunity, which strives to ensure that all of the state's eligible students have the chance to attend college and graduate with success. It carries out this mission through a three-pronged strategic approach involving policy advocacy, civic partnerships, and research designed to boost public awareness on issues in higher education. By fighting for systemic changes that will improve college equity and affordability, the organization seeks to eradicate the barriers standing in the way of so many students.

One of the ways The Campaign conducts its advocacy is by proposing common-sense educational reforms, such as an improved transfer pathway between community colleges and four-year universities. Other initiatives involve helping undocumented students, redesigning remedial courses, and supporting legislation that focuses on everything from financial aid to online college applications. The organization further advances its mission by producing a host of publications and resources that inform the public about all aspects of higher education in California. You can take action by joining The Campaign and making your voice heard to lawmakers.

One of the ways The Campaign conducts its advocacy is by proposing common-sense educational reforms, such as an improved transfer pathway between community colleges and four-year universities.

At #2 is Techbridge Girls. Started in 2000, TBG provides high-quality STEM programming to inspire, educate, and supply girls from low-income communities with the tools they need to achieve economic mobility. From California to the Washington, DC metro area, it reaches hundreds of underserved girls through hands-on learning opportunities that foster equity and access in the sciences. The group expands its impact by working with youth-serving organizations such as the YMCA, and by training educators in high-poverty areas to implement and enhance STEM-related programs.

Techbridge Girls provides direct services through after-school programs tailored to elementary, middle, and high school students. These services bring participants a bevy of fun and enlightening science activities, and also give them opportunities to meet with role models, explore different STEM disciplines and careers, and take engaging field trips. Amplifying TBG's reach is its practice-driven research, as well as its Expanding Your Horizons conferences, which feature workshops led by professional women in the field. To help transform girls' lives, consider volunteering as a STEM role model.

For #3 we get Summit Public Schools. Comprised of eleven schools that span the Bay Area and Washington State, Summit aims to optimally prepare students for success in four-year college and beyond. To do this, it offers small, close-knit classes, one-on-one mentoring, immersive projects, and continuous personalized support that's designed to help each student realize their goals. The group shares its unique, research-driven instructional approach with over 380 schools throughout the nation.

Comprised of eleven schools that span the Bay Area and Washington State, Summit aims to optimally prepare students for success in four-year college and beyond.

In addition to experiential projects and mentorships, the Summit Model emphasizes self-direction through a learning cycle that teaches students how to set their own goals, choose viable work strategies, and nurture skills that will help them flourish in college and throughout life. Students also participate in eight rigorous weeks of electives, which include courses on subjects such as art, STEM, and leadership, and internships in fields including technology and law. The school reports that 98% of its graduates are accepted to a four-year college. Donate to Summit to aid kids' academic and career journeys.

Landing at #4 is Kidango, the largest preschool provider in the Bay Area. Dedicated to helping low-income children overcome socioeconomic barriers and reach their full potential, it provides an array of early-learning services with focuses on social-emotional development, behavioral health, language and math skills, and more. The organization serves over 4,000 kids every day across its more than fifty centers, and alleviates the financial burden on eligible families by offering its childcare services for free or at a reduced cost.

On top of its preschool, toddler, and infant programming, Kidango boasts a team of early childhood intervention and behavioral health specialists who work with kids in their homes or schools. These services respond to the various demands of young children, including those experiencing developmental delays and mental health challenges. Equally significant is the group's nutrition program, which creates access to healthy, family-style meals. The SEEDS of Learning program, meanwhile, trains youth-serving professionals to ensure that they're best nurturing the kids in their care. Become a proponent of early childhood education by joining Kidango's advocacy email list.

These services respond to the various demands of young children, including those experiencing developmental delays and mental health challenges.

Finally, for #5 we come to The Tech Interactive, a family-oriented science and technology center located in downtown San Jose. Fueled by the belief that everyone has the capacity for innovation and transformation, it offers experiential activities, labs, and design challenges that spark people's curiosity and creativity. Many of these experiences come through hands-on exhibits, which give visitors opportunities to build their problem-solving skills while exploring areas such as bio-design, robotics, and immersive new media.

Integral to The Tech are its multitude of educational offerings and initiatives, which encompass free field trips, classes, professional development workshops and resources, and an integration program that brings STEM learning to underserved communities. There's also The Tech Challenge, the institution's signature program, which solicits teams of fourth to twelfth grade students to solve real-world problems using engineering design. Other offerings include summer camps, a youth climate summit, and an IMAX theater presenting educational films. Become a member to help ensure kids and their families have continued access to STEM.