Educational Equity for All
The transformational power of education changes lives and strengthens communities. Regrettably, too often children who benefit most from a high-quality education – Florida’s Black and Latino students – are not exposed to high-quality early learning environments that prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond. Unprepared for the learning requirements of kindergarten, some children struggle to meet state-mandated achievement levels, fall behind their better-prepared peers, and unknowingly, unwillingly, and through no fault of their own, seed an education gap.
Lack of kindergarten readiness can limit educational achievement in elementary, middle, and high school, too often leading students to forgo a postsecondary degree. An equitable education, one that connects not only White, but also Black and Latino students to their full potential, can increase individual earnings, empower communities with a diverse and engaged workforce, and give everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, or zip code, the power to maximize their full potential.
Educational equity begins in the early learning years and must be intentionally cultivated all along the education continuum. Read the Foundation’s Call for Equity to learn more about our commitment.
According to the Florida Department of Education's 2018-2019 student readiness results, 54 percent of kindergarten-age students were deemed kindergarten ready.
Equity in Action .
Reflecting our commitment to equity, Helios Education Foundation partnered with Orange County Public Schools, the Orlando Repertory Theatre, and Arizona State University on implementation of two-way dual language learning in eleven voluntary pre-kindergarten classrooms in Orlando, FL.
In this two-way immersion model, children who speak English and children who speak Spanish learn content together, through both languages. Recently, Helios reported our learnings in a brief titled Helios Education Foundation’s Dual Language Learner Project: Early Impacts of Emergent Literacy and Language Acquisition Skills for Educators and Pre-K Students. The education brief explores how dual language learning (DLL) is influencing classroom practices and children’s learning in classrooms ranging from Pre-K through grade three in Florida. Providing equitable, high-quality learning environments for all students will enable Helios to fulfill its mission of ensuring all students across Arizona and Florida are prepared for success in postsecondary education.