Each morning, when the school bell rings, a warning siren should go off across our community. Young people are dropping out of school at an alarming rate. Children in poverty live face-to-face with barriers to academic progress and well-being, including hunger, an absence of academic support, low parental involvement, limited medical and dental care, and much more. With barriers like these, it’s hard for young people to find a path forward or a reason to believe they ever will.
How do we begin to tackle this problem? The answer: middle school. Students who start 9th grade on schedule, reading at grade level and with grade-appropriate math skills, are three times more likely to graduate high school than students who don’t. Through our Community Schools program, we are focused on meeting ALICE students where they’re at, focusing on the middle school to college and/or career success pipeline.
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