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HBCUs, Urban League address learning loss

By: OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA

Recently, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced an additional initiative to address catastrophic
learning loss through a tutoring partnership between the Urban Leagues of Hampton Roads and Greater
Richmond and four Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Norfolk State University, Hampton University, Virginia State University, and Virginia Union University.

The program will employ HBCU students as tutors and mentors to high school and middle school students throughout their communities.

“I am thrilled to embark on the journey of learning loss recovery with these transformational tutoring partnerships, this is a breakthrough initiative. Our treasured Historically Black Colleges and Universities have proven to be leaders in the development and implementation of best practices in education. I look forward to the expansion of this key program,”said Governor Glenn Youngkin.

“We are on the cusp of losing a generation of children due to the profound and heart-wrenching learning loss of the past five years. The Urban League-HBCU Tutoring Partnership announced today represents community leaders coming together to ensure every child is seen, supported and back on track for success. This partnership should be an inspiring model for every community in the Commonwealth to follow,” said Secretary of Education Aimee Rogstad Guidera.

“We were pleased to have Governor Glenn Youngkin announce the Urban League and HBCU Tutoring Partnership on the campus of the Norfolk State University at the L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center. The purpose of the partnership between the Urban Leagues of Hampton Roads and Greater Richmond and Norfolk State University, Hampton University, Virginia Union University, and Virginia State University is to provide HBCU students who will serve as paid tutors to high school students. This is a great start to begin closing the learning gap that occurred during the pandemic and beyond. We are excited about the possibilities this partnership will bring,” said President of Norfolk State University Dr.Javaune Adams-Gaston.

“Every university is seeing that students need more help after a pandemic that has been hard on everyone. We also know that the seeds of success in college are planted long before students arrive on campus, and that’s just one reason why Virginia Union University has committed to full-ride scholarships for public school students in Richmond and Henrico. Today’s announcement expands this work even further, and we are proud to partner with the Urban League and Governor Youngkin to help even more young people,” said President of Virginia Union University Dr. Hakim J. Lucas.

“Hampton University is excited about continuing its relationship with the cities of Hampton and Newport News public school systems. This tutorial initiative for our public schools is directly in line with Hampton University’s mission of providing an education for our students while engaging with our local community. Thank you Governor Youngkin for your commitment to Virginia’s HBCUs and our youth,”said Hampton University President Darrell K.Williams.“Today, conversations and ideas took a huge step toward supporting underserved and marginalized children and young adults in the urban core cities. The Urban Leagues of Hampton Roads and Greater Richmond joined with four Virginia HBCUs and the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide academic enrichment options through enhanced opportunities for tutoring and mentorship. The collaboration of the Urban League and our HBCUs represents a coalition of monumental historical context of organizations that not only had the lens of viewing Black history in America but were catalysts in the shaping of that history. As former Governor Doug Wilder and others have advocated for greater HBCU funding, we hope this initiatve will give rise to more such efforts to assure that every Virginia student is provided with quality education that prepares them to enter the global workforce and help grow Virginia’s economy. The Urban League is pleased to help make this dream a reality,” said Urban League of Hampton Roads President and CEO Gil Bland.

“Access to quality education is the gateway for promise and possibilities to young minds and future leaders. For over 100 years, the Urban League of Greater Richmond, which includes the City of Petersburg, has been in the business of empowering people. It’s the people; the academic leadership of Petersburg City Public Schools, Virginia State University, the students, families, and community at large who will ensure the partnership’s success. Enriching these relationships will allow for the execution of a dynamic mentoring and tutoring program to support at least 675 Petersburg students. Urban League’s education initiatives will offer college and career readiness with a spectrum of services beyond typical classroom activities. The Partnership for Petersburg is a great opportunity to connect resources and services for the most ‘at promise’ students in Virginia,”said Urban League of Greater Richmond Interim CEO Larry Murphy.

“The collaborative efforts from the Governor’s office are to be commended. The education of Virginia’s children is clearly a priority and I’m so pleased that Petersburg City is a part of this amazing initiative!” said Petersburg City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tamara Sterling.

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