Sad but true: Poverty is a reality far too many families face.
Before children in poverty even step foot in a classroom, most are already playing catch-up. Too many begin kindergarten not ready for school and, by the time they reach fourth grade, 50% of those children will not be reading at grade level.
Sadly, playing catch-up is a game they hardly ever win. Children in poverty also become five times more likely to drop out of school in their teen years.
The average societal cost per high school dropout is a whopping $292,000 including the costs of chronic illness, under-employment, homelessness and, all too often, incarceration.
In some communities, childhood poverty is a stark reality – and a frightening fact of life.
For example, in the city of Cocoa, the poverty rate for children under age 6 is 32.6%; children ages 6 to 11 is 54.66%, and, for adolescents ages 12 to 17, 42.7%. These extraordinary poverty rates might forecast a bleak future for Cocoa’s children, but hope is not lost.
With so many odds stacked against them, how are students at Endeavour Elementary – a school where the entire student body is considered economically disadvantaged – experiencing remarkable learning gains, attending STREAM summer camps and preparing for futures that may include college, employment opportunities and careers?
The answer is incontrovertible: Endeavour Elementary is a Community Partnership School.
Thanks to a collaborative partnership among Brevard Health Alliance, Brevard Public Schools, Children’s Home Society of Florida, the city of Cocoa, Eastern Florida State College and the University of Central Florida, Endeavour students have access to high-quality academics, excellent health care, mental health support, mentoring and more -all offered in their own school.
But the valuable support at Endeavour doesn’t end with students; in this successful model developed by founding and strategic partners Children’s Home Society of Florida and the University of Central Florida, family members also have access to unique program opportunities. At Endeavour, that includes positive parenting skills, nutritional guidance and even professional development coaching, all part of the school’s successful holistic approach.
Though parenting on a low income typically doesn’t lend itself to a healthy work-life balance that allows parents to be actively involved with their children’s school, studies show parent engagement is a key factor in student achievement. By creating convenient and accessible parent engagement opportunities, children reap the rewards – and that’s just what’s happening at Endeavour.
The proof is in the outcomes.
With the Community Partnership Schools™ model, the percentage of Endeavour Elementary students experiencing learning gains more than tripled between 2016 and 2019— jumping from 67% to 95%, according to Florida standardized testing results. In addition to improved parental engagement, the multitude of resources and connections offered on site offers teachers a team of support to help address the barriers affecting student concentration, giving them more time to teach. It’s clearly working.
Endeavour Elementary and the other 28 Florida Community Partnership Schools are more than buildings, they are model learning communities and could well represent the future of public education in Florida.
But there is work to do. The Community Partnership Schools model at Endeavour Elementary needs community support to sustain success and expand further into more schools, helping more children to achieve, dream and succeed in life’s journey.
There is one more valuable partner in the Community Partnership Schools success story: he Florida Legislature. During the current2022 legislative session, Children’s Home Society of Florida is requesting $10 million to sustain and expand Community Partnership Schools.
Please consider voicing your support and help advocate for this important success story.
Click on the Children’s Home Society of Florida Advocacy Action Center link and encourage our legislators to invest in a proven model of children’s achievements.
Originally posted by: Florida Today