In any well rounded political debate education is one of the top five topics of discussion. This is the case because with regards to our educational system there is always room for improvement. Practically every academic improvement up for discussion should be prefaced with the word ‘More’; more teachers, more books, more schools, and more supplies. More often than not at the top of constituents’ academic ideals is the belief that more money will create better schools.
In the midst of this outcry for more, students unable to attend the top schools are getting less. Beyond losing potential opportunities, they are losing their desire to learn. While many parents are left with their demands for more, anxiously awaiting a day when quality education will truly be accessible to all, the rest of us seek alternative solutions outside the school walls.

Everyday children across America attend after school and pre-college programs at which they generate a renewed sense of themselves through new arenas of support. In spite of overcrowded classrooms and out dated books, students can further develop their minds with the help of the one-on-one training and co-curriculum classes that these organizations provide. For the most part, these programs typically offer tutoring, summer instruction, workshops, and career counseling.

Similar to the search for a good school, in the world of after school economics, the demand is always greater than the supply. Moreover, the best institutions are sometimes the best kept secrets. Fortunately, supplemental Educational programs for youth come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are tutoring/mentoring programs, pre-college programs, community centers, camps, youth focused internships, talent searches, and career training programs. Use these organizational categories as buzz words and guides. Look online and through local newspapers to find out where such programs exist and how your child can take advantage of them.

A Better Today Brings a Brighter Tomorrow is a resource guide that features supplemental education programs for students of color and their parents. This book is available for purchase at www.lulu.com/msoy. Additionally, the guide’s website, abt.msoyonline.com, includes an online directory of community outreach programs, more informative articles, and helpful forums for parents.

As long as poorly funded schools remain an issue within countless black communities, supplemental education programs will continue to provide as many students as possible with well-rounded academic experiences. We must all actively advocate for the improvement of our schools, but as a parent it is equally important you, not the schools, control your child’s academic experience. Look outside the school system for a new pool of opportunities to dive into and a self-made village in which to raise your child.

About the Author:
This article is an excerpt of A Better Today Brings a Brighter Tomorrow, (abt.msoyonline.com) a resource guide for African American parents, self-published by LaShanda Henry. Visit www.lulu.com/msoy to purchase a copy of this book or email lhenry@msoyonline.com for details.

© LaShanda Henry 2005

NOTE: You are welcome to forward or “reprint” this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the “about the author” info at the end and the copyright notice), and you send a copy of your reprint to lhenry@msoyonline.com.

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