Real Solutions for Kids and Communities

The AFT has launched a yearlong campaign, Real Solutions for Kids and Communities, that rejects the toxic attacks against public education in favor of working to strengthen public schools, making real solutions for kids a national priority.

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We are addressing learning loss, loneliness and literacy through transformative strategies that can be sustained, integrated and scaled to help children recover and thrive:

Create joyful and confident readers by partnering with Reading Universe, First Book, WETA and the Barksdale Institute to help teachers access the best evidence-based reading instructional practices and by continuing to give books away. So while others ban books, we will give away 2.5 million books by July 2024.

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Expand community schools, which wrap services around schools and make them hubs for kids and families, tackling mental health challenges, hunger, language barriers, healthcare and career supports for families.

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Provide all children the opportunity to learn by doing. Experiential learning, including career and technical education, engages them in deeper learning, provides them with real-world, real-life skills, and boosts academic achievement. Career and technical education is experiential learning at its best, and it prepares students not only for traditional trades programs but also for in-demand careers in healthcare, information technology, skilled manufacturing and more.

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Further care for children’s mental health and well-being by demanding that social media companies protect, not prey on, children. The report “Likes vs. Learning: The Real Cost of Social Media for Schools” outlines a series of recommendations tech companies must use to keep kids safe and protect learning environments.

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Fight for investments schools need, so they can recruit, retain and respect the educators and school staff who help kids thrive, offer a well-rounded curriculum, and provide safe, welcoming and well-maintained school buildings.  

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These strategies will strengthen and improve public education. Together, they are transformative for kids, regardless of their ZIP code.

As extremists try to divide Americans, we know that public schools unite us. The parents of 90 percent of American children send their kids to public schools. And national polls show that parents overwhelmingly support and trust teachers, and want schools strengthened, not politicized or privatized.

Extremists don’t offer a single idea that will improve public schools, because they don’t want to strengthen public education; they want to end it—by inserting political divisions, cutting resources, and diverting funding from already underfunded public schools through vouchers, despite evidence that vouchers do not improve achievement.

Public schools are the vehicle that anchors our democracy and creates opportunity for our children. The Real Solutions for Kids and Communities campaign is about strengthening those opportunities and helping kids prepare for college, career and life. 

Join us in our mission to have a positive impact on children’s lives. Discover various ways to get involved, share and learn from success stories about effective programs in communities nationwide, and find more information on great things happening in public schools.

Just as the students and communities that AFT members serve are as varied and diverse as America itself, the ways that AFT locals are using their grants are creative, wide-ranging and inspiring. The campaign is focused on strategies that strengthen and improve public schools—and to help translate that vision into reality, the AFT has announced 40 back-to-school grants to its local affiliates, totaling more than $500,000.

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