“Education is not preparation for life, it is life itself,” as the American philosopher John Dewey famously said. The types of education sources may vary, from school, home, neighborhood/village, or even the internet. All of these sources are linked in a way that they influence how a person thinks, acts, and feels about the world around them. Education begins at a young age and those experiences and lessons that they learn shapes how a person will turn out in the future.
The type of education that Make It to The Finish Line promotes comes from the neighborhood, but is a supplemental to the school experience. Schools function in society is not only to provide an education that is taught out of a book, but to teach socialization skills to help them navigate through negative life experiences. However, in todays society a heavy emphasis is placed on teaching from the book, and standardized test at the expense of teaching life skills. The problem with this approach is that a text book cannot prepare a person for problems involving other people and knowing how to deal with outside sources is important.
Make It to The Finish Line has a progressive approach to education; meaning that they we are teaching kids that not every lesson that is important to them is covered in a text book. Although schools do have after school activities, many schools have been unpredictably eliminating after school activities or closing their doors altogether. This is why Make It to The Finish Line exist: to engage kids in educational and entertaining activities. As a neighborhood nonprofit organization we believe it is our social responsibility to contribute to the education of the youth.
The best example of our alternative education activities would have to be the evening of excellence. This is a talent competition where the kids can earn scholarship money by showcasing their talents. Talents that the kids showcase are not necessarily taught, or emphasized in schools which makes the event so great. Specific talents that the kids showcase include dance, singing, spoken word, music, and comedy.
Instilling good values in people at a young age will help the community in the long run. As a professional educator Gladys Pearson, the founder of Making It to The Finish Line, knows how important it is that kids continue to have an education outside of the school building. This organization has been successful in the past in counteracting many negative influences that are present in many neighborhoods. This ongoing project is vital to the community and could always use your help. If you are interested, you can call Gladys at 313-460-0596.