When we started EdNavigator, we noticed a trend that we found… problematic. There were lots of resources intended to help families with schools, from reading lists and academic standards guides to school quality reports, homework hotlines, and support centers where parents could get in-person help. But they all required families to do a lot of digging. Families had to sort through multiple sources of information, search the internet exhaustively, and know what sources to trust. Many resources for families were also difficult to access during the work day.
Families can and should seek out help when they need it. But that help should be readily available and accessible, even for parents who are working long hours. That’s one of the major reasons why we partner with employers like Laitram manufacturing, in New Orleans, to bring our Navigators right to the workplace. After all, if you’re working a day-long shift on the assembly line, finding time to look up information or get your questions about school answered is a challenge. Getting to a meeting at school or a parent support office during the day can feel impossible. The result? Many families who could benefit from all these sources of support are unable to actually take advantage of them.
It’s different in the places where we work. There, employees find their Navigator waiting in a break room and get help creating a summer learning plan or interpreting a message from school, or send a quick question to their Navigator from their mobile phone. This setup holds advantages for everyone involved: busy parents and caregivers can get the support they need without going anywhere special, the companies that sponsor the support for their employees get a unique benefit that makes people feel cared for and able to focus, and our Navigators can connect with multiple families all in one place.
It’s a little hard to imagine how this works until you see it for yourself. Fortunately, our friends at the Carnegie Corporation of New York and Education Week recently visited our team on-site at Laitram to get it on camera. Take a minute to check it out, and share it with anyone who might want to bring this kind of education support to their business.