African American Children and Families
In Focus: African American Children
- In 2012, there were more than 10.2 million non-Hispanic black children under age 18 living in the United States—14% of the U.S. child population.
- Approximately 40% of non-Hispanic black children under age 18 live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level.
- In 2009–10, 34% of non-Hispanic black high school students were not graduating on time.
Key Strategies for Inclusion
- Be responsive to family needs. Schedule PTA meetings to accommodate parent schedules, transportation concerns, and child care needs.
- Publicize school registration and annual enrollment. Almost 600,000 African American children ages 3–4 (52%) did not attend preschool in 2011–2013.
- Engage parents in children’s educational progress. Encourage communication with school staff and involvement in programs like the PTA Family Reading Experience or Academic Parent-Teacher Teams.
- Help families make education a priority. Educate families about the value of learning, advantages of staying in school, and opportunities that open with a high school diploma.
- Increase involvement of African American men. Create opportunities for male engagement and alliances with influential African American men in the local community as role models and mentors for youth.
- Celebrate African American history. Promote education about figures, events and developments beyond those included in customary popular histories.
- Create school and community partnerships and forums. Bring together school staff, local agencies and community resources to address the challenges African American children face.
- Advocate for African American children and families. Share information and promote policies about civil rights, school discipline and respect, children’s health and safety, and special needs assistance.
- Marian Wright Edelman, “Every Child in Focus”: Campaign spotlight on African American children, video message
- Otha E. Thornton: First National PTA African American President, 2011–2013
- “The State of Black Children in America: A Portrait of Continuing Inequality” (summary from the Children’s Defense Fund 2014 report, “State of America’s Children”)
- “Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor” (National Black Child Development Institute)
- “Equity and Excellence: African-American Children’s Access to Quality Preschool” (National Institute for Early Education Research)
- NAACP works to eliminate education-related racial and ethnic disparities in public schools.
- National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) improves and protects the lives of African American children.
- National Action Council For Minorities in Engineering (NACME) offers support to African Americans and other minorities who want to pursue careers in engineering, technology, math and science.
- National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) provides advocacy, research and professional development on behalf of African American education.
- My Brother’s Keeper is a White House Initiative to connect boys and young men of color to mentoring, support networks and educational and professional skills.
- The Urban League promotes programs to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights for African Americans.
 Statistics are from KIDS COUNT Data Center of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.