The Issue

The Issue and How We Address It

Big Picture

The Hispanic community and its children in the United States are in danger.

They are struggling academically and economically

Compared to all other ethnicities in the US, Hispanic students drop out of high school at the nation's highest rates and academically underperform at every grade K-12 compared to their white peers. Consequently, as adults these children can expect to be unemployed, earn low-incomes, and struggle as they straddle the lines between life and poverty.

Their struggles begin in their early childhoods
These students’ academic and economic gaps result from deficits in their cognitive and noncognitive skills, which open up early in their childhoods and persist into adulthood, as most of these skills develop in the first five years of a child's life. Because mothers spend the most time with their children early in their lives, they largely control these investments in skill development. Hispanic mothers know they must invest in their children, but with little formal schooling and knowledge of resources available, they don’t know how. Consequently, they less frequently read to their children early; less frequently expose them to vibrant, expansive language and vocabularies; and less frequently enroll them in high quality preschool programs.

As immigration and fertility trends continue into the foreseeable future, Hispanic students remain the fastest growing student demographic in the US and their futures will remain bleak.

But we can change all of this.

The solution:  invest early

If we intervene in these children’s lives early through high quality early childhood literacy programs and programs geared towards working with these children’s parents, we can raise their high school completion rates, raise their incomes and employment rates, and raise them out of poverty.

ALMas' Role:

With the support of our donors and friends, ALMas: Pre-K Literacy and Mentorship is doing just that. We’ve implemented an after school pre-k literacy program based on the most recent research in early childhood education.  We also work with parents to develop home-learning plans so that our students continue to learn outside the classroom, grow at home, and become productive citizens in an increasingly demanding, technical economy.

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