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A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Ready to Work

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Read together as a family at home

File under: education, reading, literacy, breaking the cycle of poverty

4 (1 votes)

From: Mary H., Wilmington, DE

Encourage parents and guardians to read to their children as a family activity from birth through middle school. Children who are read to and talked to are better prepared for school and perform better in school.

Read to Them has created the One School One Book program to encourage families to read at home and encourage whole towns to become involved in reading aloud. This is an activity that can engage everyone in a family from infants to grandparents.

One of my most cherished memories is of a Christmas Day spent reading The Best Christmas Pageant with my husband, 9-year-old child, 80-year-old mother, and 78-year-old aunt. We all took turns reading a chapter, and laughed ourselves silly. Sadly, both of the older generation are gone now, but we all remember that day with great fondness.

Literacy is a key to financial success because good reading skills ensure educational success, which leads to better jobs and more permanent employment. Nowadays, even plumbers and electricians need a high degree of literacy. This idea will not lead to immediate poverty mitigation, but it will help break the cycle of poverty.


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American RadioWorks |
A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Ready to Work

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

Recent Posts

  • 04.28.16

    “My Frain is Bried”: Shadowing a Student

    "Welcome to our world." Educators take an entire school day to shadow a student and walk in their shoes. We find out how it went for one teacher.
  • 04.21.16

    High School Job Prep

    Want a job? So does every student ever! Maybe career and technical education classes are the way to go. Shaun Dougherty says you could be more likely to graduate and earn more if you do.
  • 04.14.16

    How Tutoring Helps Students

    Private tutoring is no longer just for the rich kids. Our guest tells us how the individual attention improves student learning and graduation rates.
  • 04.07.16

    Is Advanced Math Necessary?

    In our last episode, Andrew Hacker argued that math courses like algebra are unnecessary for most high schoolers. This week's guest couldn't disagree more.