Education is the key in moving our community and improving the quality of life.
The high-school graduation rate is one of the best indicators of a community’s economic prospects. When companies explore moving to a community, one of the first things they look up is the graduation rate. Our graduation rate is holding the area back. In Escambia County, just 64 percent of our high-schoolers walk away with a diploma. For black students, it’s 51 percent. These numbers are some of the lowest rates in the state.
The state average is 75.6 percent overall. 1 in 3 Escambia County students didn’t graduate last year.
The impact of generational poverty on the community’s economic and educational prospects is reflected in measures such as the free- and reduced-price lunch rate — which in Escambia County is 62 percent.
The Florida Office of Early Learning says on average 33 percent of Escambia 5-year- olds are not ready for kindergarten. Often those children come from poor families.
Research shows that the more words children hear in the first three years of life builds the brain structure that will be needed later to support reading and thinking skills. Read full story
It’s never too early to start talking and reading to a baby as research shows that parents can have a positive impact on their child’s language and cognitive development in the first year. Read full story
Now an article in the journal Scientific American says as early as age 12 months, children understand the concept of fairness. And they don't like it when other kids get short-shrift. Read full story
Mentors can help encourage positive choices, promote high self-esteem, support educational achievement and introduce new, life-building and life-changing ideas. Read full story
Bringing pediatricians into the effort to create an Early Learning City is a key next step in that campaign's evolution. Read full story
When each person, every organization or agency does its part toward the common purpose of giving each child the best chance to be ready for kindergarten, the quality of life in the community improves for all of us. Read full story
The journey that our community is on to become an Early Learning City is starting with them. One family at a time. Read full story