Editorial

LIFE Initiative

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The United Way of Southeast Missouri recently announced that more than 600 students have been served through the LIFE Initiative so far this school year.

LIFE, an acronym for Leading and Inspiring Families to Excel, has grown substantially since it started locally in 2007 with 150 students. Through the initiative students are supported with after-school programs that focus on academics, life and social skills, improved attendance and better behavior. In addition to the United Way, other key players in the collaborative effort include the Cape Girardeau and Jackson School Districts and Boys and Boys & Girls Club, among other organizations.

Jo Peukert, LIFE coordinator for the United Way, said that last year $95,000 was allocated to the initiative by the United Way. Additional support from grants -- including one from AT&T -- has also helped fund programs.

According to data cited by the United Way, 85 percent of students supported by LIFE programs are on track to graduate. Peukert said they look at grades, behavior and attendance to help determine student progress.

We're thrilled to see the great results made possible by the LIFE Initiative. Through the efforts of the initiative's leaders, volunteers and school officials, more students are becoming better prepared to graduate high school on time and succeed beyond the classroom.

If you're interested in volunteering through LIFE programs, call the United Way of Southeast Missouri at 334-9634 or email Jo Peukert at LIFE@unitedwayofsemo.org.

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