Schools cannot educate children without the support of parents, families and communities. Good teachers and administrators are invaluable to the educational process, but they are not miracle workers. Schools, by themselves, do not educate children; they simply reinforce and expand what children already know when they come to school. What happens in a school is important; but just as important is what happens in the home and the community where the child lives. Societal structures, value systems, cultures, institutions, and positive environments are powerful influencers of education in children. Good schools seldom (if ever) create good communities; but good communities usually create good schools! Active and involved parents, families, communities are necessary to educate children.
Founded in 1996 by Phillip Jackson, The Black Star Project is committed to improving the quality of life in Black and Latino communities of Chicago and nationwide by eliminating the racial academic achievement gap. Our mission is to provide educational services that help pre-school through college students succeed academically and become knowledgeable and productive citizens with the support of their parents, families, schools and communities.
Additionally, we help students aspire to post-secondary educational opportunities and training while exploring careers that will be emotionally, intellectually and financially rewarding. Our services are available to all students, particularly low-income Black and Latino students who attend low-achieving schools in disadvantaged communities. In order to achieve our goal of eliminating the racial academic achievement gap, we concentrate on three main areas of initiative: student engagement, parental development and advocacy. The Black Star Project conducts its programming and varied approaches to closing the racial academic achievement gap primarily through parent and student leadership development and advocacy.
The Black Star Project operates with a belief in the strength of parental and community involvement in education to eliminate the racial academic achievement gap. Better parents produce better communities, better schools and better students! The most accurate predictor of a student's achievement in school is not income, race, language barriers, cultural background, education level of parents or social status, but the extent to which a student's family is able to create a home environment that encourages learning; express high and realistic academic achievement expectations for their children; and become involved in productive ways in their child's education at school, at home and in the community.