- Man transitioning to woman killed herself in Cape City Jail in June; news comes from architect's pitch in Kansas (2/15/18)2
- Cape Girardeau businessman proposes redevelopment project; seeks taxing district to fund improvements (2/17/18)16
- Bell City arrest, Scott City incident highlight high-alert status following Fla. school shooting (2/20/18)4
- Plans in the works to save Esquire Theater on Broadway in Cape (2/21/18)1
- TJ's Burgers, Wings & Pizza expands with dining area in Fruitland (2/16/18)
- Pence gets it right in response to attack on Christian faith (2/17/18)6
- Charges filed in Sunday murder; suspects in custody (2/14/18)2
- Lovebirds for 80 years give advice: Trust, patience and 'Tell 'em you love 'em' (2/14/18)2
- Jackson schools purchased former orchard land, will lease for farming for now (2/15/18)
- The heart of the matter: Clinic helps patients rise above congestive heart failure (2/17/18)
Low graduation rates, like those at Central High School in Cape Girardeau, are cause for concern. Just under 60 percent of black students in the class of 2006 graduated, and 85 percent of white students. Both figures are below state and national averages. School officials cite poverty and the lack of parental involvement as critical factors. Some dropouts say peer pressure is a factor, along with becoming parents as teenagers.
More important than the statistics, however, are the efforts being made to improve the likelihood for success. Two programs are targeting both students and their parents.
One is the Leading and Inspiring Families to Excel program, or LIFE. The program includes a major component for students to help them make better decisions, solve problems and boost self-esteem. Another component is aimed at parents by getting them involved in the process. A third component is geared to counselors who work with families to improve home life.
Another is the THRIVE Initiative that promotes the Search Institute's 40 developmental assets framework in the community and encourages positive youth development. This program focuses on identifying ways for young people to succeed.
Programs like LIFE and the THRIVE initiative are beacons of hope in a stormy education sea. Contact the United Way of Southeast Missouri to learn how you can help.