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JerseyCAN, a nonprofit advocating for high-quality schools for all New Jersey students, announced today a series of short video interstitials from New Jersey teachers aimed at providing parents across New Jersey with valuable advice and information to help address the unprecedented learning gaps seen across the state over the last two years. The new videos will serve as the latest content from JerseyCAN’s statewide NJ KIDS CAN’T WAIT parent initiative, which launched last fall to provide New Jersey families with needed information, guidance, and tools to address students’ needs. Since the campaign’s launch, JerseyCAN has invested in extensive statewide media, created a one-stop-shopping online resource for parents, and partnered with local teachers to drive meaningful engagement with parents across the state.
As showcased in news articles, editorials, and op-eds, New Jersey Department of Education’s Start Strong, New Jersey’s fall student assessment recently provided alarming data regarding the significant disruption to student learning caused by the pandemic, with the majority of public school students now needing “some support” or “strong support” in Math or English Language Arts. This newly released data from the State follows a previously released JerseyCAN report (based on data from the 2020-21 school year) that projected significant academic decreases from pre-pandemic levels – projecting that now only 1 in 4 students will be on grade level in Math and only 1 in 3 in English Language Arts.
“JerseyCAN created the NJ KIDS CAN’T WAIT campaign to support parents in their efforts to get students back on track, develop a statewide platform to share the voices of parents and teachers, and ensure all New Jersey families and educators uphold the highest expectations for our students,” stated Janellen Duffy, Senior Advisor, JerseyCAN. “During this challenging moment for New Jersey families, we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to address students’ needs. At JerseyCAN, we work with some of the best Public School teachers in the state, and we are thrilled to share their advice for parents in these new videos. To be honest, I’ve been using these tips with my own children, and it has made for richer discussions and a better understanding of how the school day is going.”
“When families and teachers work together, students understand that education is important at school and at home. They know that they are surrounded by supportive adults that will help them achieve success,” stated Lindsay Shirvanian, a Reading Recovery and literacy support teacher who is featured in these new videos.
The four new videos focus on (1) advice for engaging students in math problems and concepts at home, (2) advice for supporting young readers, and (3) key questions parents can ask their children to gauge their understanding and interest in what’s being covered at school. The videos feature teachers from schools across the state including Flemington, Ocean Township, Newark, Runnemede, and Toms River. The content will be available on the JerseyCAN’s NJ KIDS CAN’T WAIT microsite. The videos will also be featured in display advertising on various local news platforms and will be targeted to New Jersey parents on social media across the state.
In addition to the NJ KIDS CAN’T WAIT campaign, JerseyCAN’s has invested heavily to address the significant challenges brought on by the global pandemic:
- In the Fall of 2020, JerseyCAN conducted the first poll of New Jersey parents showcasing the stark racial and income disparities in addressing the challenges of COVID-19. This poll found that parents had concerns about their children’s health and safety and ensuring their children are on track academically
- Last Winter, JerseyCAN released the first of its kind study defining the impact of COVID-19 on New Jersey students. This research projected that approximately 393,000 students in ELA and 430,000 students in Math in grades 3-8 would not be on grade level by the end of this school year.
- Earlier this summer, as school districts began creating plans to utilize the billions of federal dollars coming into New Jersey through COVID relief funding, JerseyCAN launched a centralized multimedia platform to assist local districts and charter schools in advancing new strategies and programs to accelerate learning. This platform features case studies of New Jersey districts and schools actively using evidence-based strategies to accelerate student learning.