Civic Marshall Plan Planks

Plank 5: Adult and Peer Supports

We should strengthen supports for wraparound services. Students need to be surrounded with the developmental resources they need to be ready to learn, succeed in school, and graduate. These resources are especially important for children growing up in high-poverty neighborhoods. Direct, evidence-based supports should be integrated into education reform in ways that encompass schools, families and the community. Schools and communities should partner with nonprofits, volunteers and full-time national service members to implement a cohesive youth system to address the strengths and needs of each student. They should also devote resources, whether through ESEA flexibility or statute, to fund evidence-based student supports as a core function of schools that educate large numbers of students who live in poverty. America’s Promise Alliance’s Five Promises provide a framework for these supports: caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education, and opportunities to help others. Research affirms the sustained and cumulative benefit of having these supports in school, at home and in the community: increased academic achievement, civic engagement, and social competence, regardless of race or family income.1


  1. Balfanz, Robert, Herzog, Lisa, & MacIver, Douglas J. (2007). “Preventing Student Disengagement and Keeping Students on the Graduation Path in Urban Middle-Grades Schools: Early Identification and Effective Interventions.” Educational Psychologist, 42(4), 223-235. 

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