Last month the United Way of Southeast Missouri released statistics that show encouraging news for Cape Girardeau's public schools.
The organization's "mobilization plan" was started in 2009 in partnership with the school district. In all but two areas improvement was realized.
Decreases were realized in the following: the number of students with 10 or more unexcused absences; the number of students not ready to enter kindergarten; the number of students reading below the third-grade level; the number of students writing below basic level; and the number of students not having earned any math credits by the end of their freshman year. Meanwhile, the graduation rate has improved, and the number of students writing at proficient and advanced levels has increased.
Areas where targeted results were not met include discipline referrals and not having 70 percent of students reading at the benchmark -- though Nancy Jernigan, executive director of the United Way, said the latter was missed only by one percent.
Overall, this is encouraging news. We congratulate the educators, counselors and administrators for the work being done at each school. The United Way and its volunteers also deserve credit. From Read to Succeed, to the Parent Liaison program, to outside organizations funded by the United Way, these efforts appear to be making a difference in student achievement and the graduation rate.
If you would like to become involved with the United Way's efforts, we encourage you to call 334-9634 or visit www.unitedwayofsemo.org.