In an attempt to help close the achievement gap in schools, St. Paul officials have launched the Sprockets program to help students find fun and educational programs when they’re not in school.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Superintendent Valeria Silva promoted the program in a Pioneer Press op/ed today, saying it sprang from research that “shows up to a 91 percent increase in graduation rates when continuing investment is made in quality after-school activities.”
They said such programs “improve work habits and task persistence while providing youth with the opportunity to develop essential social and emotional abilities as they pursue their own passions and interests.”
The Sprockets website helps students and parents find activities by interest area, age and location. It also lists upcoming events that might be of interest.
The mayor and superintendent say that they believe Sprockets will be “a critical step” in helping lower the achievement gap between white and minority students.
“As a community, each resident must take responsibility for the role she or he plays in supporting our youth. Whether you are a parent, an educator, a neighbor, a business owner, a superintendent or a mayor — we must invest in the success of our children because it is inextricably tied to our success as a city,” they wrote.