An Open Letter from Mightier’s Chief Scientific Officer

 

My home state announced that schools would not reopen to end the school year. School closed in mid-March, meaning that my kids are looking at 13 missed weeks of school. On a personal level, I can’t help but to be a little sad. In my family we’ll miss some of the smaller milestones (like a goodbye to preschool), and I know that other children are missing out on hallmark events of childhood too.

We can see the pain expressed in numbers. At Mightier, we ask families to share their child’s improvement along the way, and the onset of quarantine has left an unmistakable dip in the data. Historically, 80% of families using Mightier report improvement over the course of 3 months. That number fell to 50% in late March, a drop of 37%. Every one of those families is a story of a child struggling to adapt to a new reality.

The closing of schools means that individualized education plans are being rethought on the fly, and the typical support of general education has vanished. The pandemic leaves no one untouched, and the most vulnerable are asked to bear the biggest burden.

As an effort to support the public education system, Mightier will be donating 10% of May sales back to our local public school system. The transition back to school this year will be one of the hardest, and more kids will need extra support as they head back to classrooms this fall.

In the here and now, I am impressed with the amount of inventiveness that has sprung to life. The role of programs like Mightier has truly come to the forefront. While it’s true that we are seeing fewer children reporting improvement, we are not seeing children getting worse. I count this as a blessing.

As we look farther to the future, I maintain hope. Social emotional learning has started to gain mainstream awareness over the past few years. When we do return, it will be impossible to ignore. We’ll be helping kids grow into more well-rounded individuals, providing appropriate attention to a fuller definition of growth.

In the end, we’ll all be better off.