Across the nation, school districts and school leaders are experiencing overwhelming challenges to educate students and increase high school graduation rates. These challenges are staggering as it relates to students in poverty, particularly African American and Hispanic students. Members of the community, can play a major role to help overcome these challenges, and we can do so at no cost. The result will be a more vibrant community with increased business growth.
According to the Alliance for Education, if just half of Florida's dropouts from the class of 2010 had stayed in school and earned diplomas, there would be $322 million in increased earnings, $254 million in increased spending, and 2,750 new
jobs created over their lifetimes.
If a greater percentage of our students graduated from high school and went on to post-secondary education or career training, there would be:
1. More opportunities to sell our products locally.
2. Increased local sources of qualified employees.
3. A more vibrant community, making it easier to attract employees from outside the area.
4. Lower taxes as a result of less community funds spent on law enforcement, courts and
Schools cannot solve these issues alone. Many children face daily challenges in their personal
lives, resulting in students who arrive each day with the burdens of low economic levels and self-
esteem, making it difficult for them to succeed. These students will especially benefit from an
additional caring adult in their lives whose encouragement can help them better manage the trials
What can we do to significantly help address these barriers to learning? What can we do that will
be very impactful, that cannot be accomplished without us, but which has virtually no cost?
Become a Lunch Pal. In only 30 minutes at lunch time once a week, we can make a difference at a nearby elementary or middle school. The total time commitment is one hour, including the travel time to and from