Education: Help kids prepare for school, stay in school, and graduate
Our community is world-renowned for its ability to educate young men and women through our exemplary universities and colleges. At the same time, we are challenged in our ability to prepare young children for elementary school, to engage youth in meaningful activities and relationships that sustain them through the rigors of school, and to train and graduate young adults who are ready to succeed in the workforce or continue their formal education.
- St. Joseph County's educational attainment has improved since the 1990s. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of South Bend residents completed high school and more than 20% earned a bachelor's degree.
- Program Quality Assessments (PQA's) in 14 county Head Start classrooms improved from a score of 2.71 in 2000 to 4.30 in 2007.
- Children who regularly attend high-quality after-school programs are more likely to develop social skills, improve academic performance and attend college and are less likely to skip school and start drinking alcohol.
- The St. Joseph County high school graduation rate for 2008 was only 68.5% and 73.0% of students received free or reduced meals.
- There is a significant discrepancy between Caucasian, affluent students with passing ISTEP scores (83%) and African American, underprivileged students with passing ISTEP scores (9%).
- The number of school-aged children in our community is expected to remain constant even as unemployment continues to remain at record levels.
- In Indiana Department of Workforce Development programs, enrollment in basic skills and literacy has more than tripled over the last five years.
Together, we will succeed in bridging these education gaps by establishing tangible outcomes and investing community resources in programs and collaborations that: increase school readiness, enhance mentoring relationships, reinforce academic and life skills, and provide resources and support for parents.
- 150 Ways to Show Kids You Care
- America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2010
- Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018