A new education initiative has launched in Dayton. At an event yesterday, hundreds of community and business leaders gathered for Learn to Earn. The goal is to bring together education and community members to provide students with an education that will equip them to go on to college. It will give a specific focus to high poverty areas to improve kindergarten readiness, third grade reading proficiency, 9th to 10th grade transitions and college enrollment. The nonprofit organization aims to increase the percentage of students with college degrees from 34% currently to 50% by 2025.
Jamie Merisotis is the CEO of the Lumina Foundation, a group that promotes education across the country. He says Dayton is well poised to make a positive change through this type of “all hands on deck” approach.
"Here in Dayton, I think the fact the economy has transitioned so significantly and that the jobs that were available to people in the old economy that didn’t require some sort of post, second education are gone and are not coming back, makes Dayton an excellent case for the investments and collective collaborations we see," say Merisotis.
Merisotis says third grade reading is particularly important as it is a leading indicator for college readiness. According to a state achievement test, 1 in 4 of Montgomery Counties’s third graders are not considered reading proficient.