Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. When a child drops out it costs our community $260,000 in lost wages, taxes and productivity over their lifetimes.
When communities and public, private and nonprofit sectors work together, we can increase the number of students graduating on time and ready for college or work.
Kindergarten readiness: Whether it’s knowing their ABC’s or how to stand still in a line after recess, we want every child to start school ready to learn and prepared to succeed.
Third grade reading: Because after third grade students need to read to learn, students who can’t read at grade level are four times more likely to drop out of school. By pairing students with mentors and offering extra homework help, we hope to increase the number of children reading proficiently from 87 percent to 95 percent.
Attendance: Even the best and brightest student will struggle to succeed if they don’t attend class. Our goal is to reduce the number of high school students who are chronically absent from 1 in 3 to 1 in 5.
High school graduation: High school drop outs earn $10,000 less each year than their classmates who have a diploma. Graduates are healthier, less likely to live in poverty or need public assistance and are seven times more likely to own their home.
Since the Graduation Matters initiative began in 2011, the number of drop outs has been cut by half.
To advance our education initiative, Graduation Matters, we work collaboratively with local agencies, including the school district, to help more pre-schoolers prepare for kindergarten, more elementary students improve their reading skills, more high school students attend class and more seniors graduate on time and ready for the next step in their lives.
Ultimately, the effort relies on parents, students, teachers, businesses and the community at large to work together to ensure our students graduate on time and ready for work or college.
We believe education is a cradle to career commitment that affects our entire community and structure our efforts based on that philosophy.
To reach our goal, we need your help. The strategies proven to work are those that connect communities to their schools:
- parent involvement
- literacy volunteers in the classroom
- mentors for disadvantaged students
- business leaders engaged in early childhood advocacy.