Policy Ideas Generated

Question 1: How might we ensure that all of Winston-Salem’s children arrive in kindergarten ready to learn, and complete high school with adequate preparation for college or career?

1.   A mentor program for young parents - where you can graduate and come back as a mentor later. Possibly involve elders from the community (provide incentives like meals, transportation, childcare, payment, etc.)

2.   “Near peer” program for recent high school graduates to encourage high schoolers to graduate

3.   Higher pay for pre-k teachers

4.   Make parent education programs are schools mandatory for parents

5.   Educate teachers on how to grant write

6.   Make space in state budget for teaching or hiring someone who can grant write

7.   Community child education hotline, run through volunteerism and community

8.   Intergenerational exchange program where old/young teach about math/technology

9.   Universal pre-k program in city paid with city money

10.  HOPE Truck idea - brings food into neighborhoods - do this with books/tutoring services

11.  Give children successful role models - marketing campaign featuring celebrities like Michael Jordan

12.  Underperforming children should get tested frequently - remedial testing for remedial students- testing puts fear in children and parents - create a testing method that involves all types of learning

13.  Appoint a coordinator by the city to help organize resources to make sure that it is properly mandated and the distribution is equitable

14.  Happy Hill Neighborhood Association- multicultural center - 4 mill. Renovation for the parks - could go to education

15.  Create a space in which the city government can connect with parents - there should be a prominent community center

16.  Provide lower cost childcare so parents can make their appointments and job interviews

17.  Make all high schoolers take trips to local universities/visit campus, not just sporting events

18.  Incentive package: business will put % of employees as mentors in public schools


Question 2: How might we better offer educational opportunities—including learning about life skills— across generations and groups, beyond K-12 students: for lifelong learners, the unemployed, parents, grandparents, caregivers?

1.   Community kitchens (cooking classes, food shared, renting kitchens) - possibly make better use of kitchens in churches

2.   Financially motivate businesses to make mentorship for the incarcerated? (tax breaks?)

3.   More paid internships and leadership development for low wealth neighborhoods

4.   Support of Bookmobiles in Winston Salem, renovation of existing programs with more how-to books, increase budget for bookmobiles

5.   Use Portal to bridge technology gap between generations and consolidate programs

6.   Old people teaching young about life skills, young teaching old about technology (potentially a summer program, draw in people with unusual skills like knitting, welding, art, etc. - use Goodwill classrooms)

7.   Free lesson plans and lectures online from Wake Forest/community professors

8.   Have family/children go to class together so the children see the importance of education

9.   Parent lunch educational opportunities

10.  Life skills classes at the Y? - Critical thinking and political engagement life skills classes? Empower people to make change

11.  Community to exchange skill sets. Like among retired people. Empower community members to teach other community members skills

12.  Increase funding for Pre-K programs to increase literacy skills

13.  Need to improve the transit system. Better, safer. People feel trapped. Need to provide access for participants.

14.  Turn elementary schools into community centers after 4pm (provide AA support, dinner, basic healthcare, private grant funding) **

15.  Teach soft skills such as how to act in an interview, how to act at workplace, etc.

16.  Provide funding for WinstonNet, which gives WiFi to places like library, Goodwill

17.  Publicize free, online, learning channels (Khan Academy on YouTube, etc)

18.  Get rid of bogus life skills classes in favor of interactions with the community - that class time would be better spent as community service

19.  More community partners could offer internships to high schoolers who want to get involved, giving them more participation in local events and also something to put on their college application

20.  Maybe schools could offer their own internships for high schoolers to go to middle or elementary schools and tutor, giving students some work experience under teachers at other schools and helping out as teaching assistants, etc. on weekends or afternoons

21.  Provide high schoolers the opportunity to sign up for field trips to take a class at a local university once a month/get the feel of college and meet professors/students in their area (maybe make a class mandatory for juniors?)

22.  Encourage schools to ask for senior projects that positively impact the community and engage students year-round


Question 3: How best to engage members of the community without school-going children to recognize that they have a critical stake in addressing issues related to education?

1.   More funding for the backpack program, expensive to run

2.   Put programming on TV to help basic knowledge for children

3.   More World Cafes, but better promotion and awareness around them and their significance → Goodwill ads, homeless shelter ads etc.

4.   Have volunteers come to high schools to be an example of why education is important and what the next steps after college are

5.   Town Hall meetings to both gauge public sentiment as well as promote opportunities and information

a.   Host at unconventional locations such as malls, beauty salons, churches to reach a different audience than those that would be on the lookout for these types of announcements

6.   Ban The Box: Felons cannot volunteer even if they want to. Promote greater accessibility for convicted felons who have shown a proven record of improvement and changed behavior

7.   Connect senior citizens with school going children through community gardens

8.   Career days at schools for students AND adults in the community. Would be a good way to promote the importance of education as well as connecting adults to schools who may or may not have children

9.   Teachers need to teach the importance of soft skills like work ethic and integrity in addition to hard skills like math and reading

10.  Education/awareness about the state of our school system needs to be communicated to older people in community, those without children

11.  Local churches, universities could “adopt” elementary schools and support them with book drives/childcare/tutoring

12.  Engage the community with the higher education institutions in the area (WFU, WSSU, Salem, UNCSA) through activities such as field trips and experiential learning

13.  Center for Creative Leadership → program that connects seniors with young people as mentors, but young people help seniors with lawn care and technological literacy. Two way street

a.   program exists in Greensboro, Colorado Springs, San Diego and many other places around the globe

14.  Use statistics in marketing campaigns to hit home and drive change through facts

15.  Increase awareness of The Forsyth Promise & First Presbyterian