In Asheville and Buncombe County, children who live in poverty graduate from high school at a rate of 77% while their classmates graduate at a rate of more than 90%. And in 2014, more than 750 children in our public schools were homeless.
While every student faces challenges, those who live in poverty must navigate significantly more obstacles in order to make it to graduation. Every student that doesn’t graduate from high school faces a life filled with greater obstacles - impacting their long-term health and income and often determining whether or not they live in poverty the rest of their life.
When we provide middle school students ongoing encouragement and support during this critical time, we can stop them from falling through the cracks. But in many cases it isn't enough to focus just on the student. Family and neighborhood issues like health, safety and employment directly impact academic achievement in youth as well.
No single individual or organization can accomplish wide scale community change alone. We are stronger, more powerful, when we work together. This is what collective impact is about and it is the foundation of our work.
The Asheville Buncombe Middle Grades Network uses a collective impact approach that brings together Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools and community partners around a shared vision of creating success ready 9th graders and improving graduation rates.
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