As Funds Expire, Equity & Sustainability Are Key
A flurry of recent articles has raised the reality that federal COVID-19 relief funds are set to expire, and their renewal is unlikely. An example of this is the September 13th article from Chalkbeat, “Schools face a funding cliff. How bad will the fall be?”.
The loss of funds is occurring at a pivotal point as students, and schools, have not fully recovered from the pandemic. This can be found in statistics around academic readiness and performance, attendance, and youth mental health.
So, without additional funds, how should schools respond? We believe in a key focus on identifying programs and resources that support equity and sustainability. Erika’s Lighthouse can help.
Equity is ensuring fairness and justice with a recognition that not all schools and students are starting at the same place. Programs that work towards this must be flexible and responsive to the unique needs of schools, students, and families. No program is one-size-fits-all all. Erika’s Lighthouse recognizes this with totally adaptable programs and resources that are effectively implemented in schools around the world – urban, rural, high-income, or low-income. We work with each school partner to ensure they have the knowledge and resources to maximize impact.
Another key aspect of equity is accessibility. Programs that reduce barriers to access, availability, and implementation are vital for schools to be successful. This may be in the form of how schools access programs or what they need to pay. Erika’s Lighthouse solves this problem, by placing all of our programs within immediate reach online at absolutely no cost. Every Erika’s Lighthouse program and resource is free – always. We are working to ensure any school, anywhere can seamlessly use our materials.
Sustainability is the next key. Can programs continue if there is a loss of funding, staff, or provider? Erika’s Lighthouse believes that with our programs, no matter what, the answer is yes.
Erika’s Lighthouse addresses cost by ensuring our donor-funded programs and resources will always be available and accessible, including 1-on-1 support.
We address staff and providers clearly and easily. We don’t rely on third-party providers or outside agencies to implement programs in schools. Nor do we provide them ourselves. We use a unique educate-the-educator model that trains, equips, and sustains school-based staff in implementing every program, every step of the way.
Any school professional looking to implement programs can access our turn-key programs, training, guides, and resources; and couple those with 1-on-1 support to answer specific questions or challenges.
Through the educate-the-educator model, our school partners are trained and capable of sustaining programs year after year. They are more capable, confident, and willing to have meaningful conversations around mental health – promoting inclusive school cultures that change lives.