Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley is touting the accomplishments of a program designed to help prepare public school students for college and careers.
The city launched the City of Learners initiative in 2014. It includes universal pre-K for Dayton children, a program Whaley, who is running for Ohio governor, has said she'd push to expand statewide, if elected.
At a press conference, Whaley highlighted the program’s Mentoring Collaborative that pairs more than 20,000 young people with adult mentors and internships.
“The Mentoring Collaborative is ensuring the mentors get the training and the guidance they need to be effective, not just present,” she says.
"The Collaborative is making sure that adults who are stepping up for children know that they are part of something bigger and that others believe just as they do - that every child deserves a caring adult in their life."
The mayor says the City of Learners' 2016 Preschool Promise program is on track to expand affordable preschool to more of the city's four year olds. Officials say 800 children enrolled in preschool as a result of the program last year.
Whaley told a crowd of about 40 community members at the Bombeck Family Learning Center that improving Dayton public schools is key to growing the city’s economy.
DPS has struggled in recent years with problems, including labor disputes, transportation problems, teacher layoffs, and student academic performance.
The mayor urged Daytonians to educate themselves about the current slate of school-board candidates. Elections will be held for a majority of Dayton School Board members this fall.
You can view the City of Learners 2017 Action Report here. Below is the full audio of the mayor's speech at the Bombeck Family Learning Center. She was introduced by University of Dayton President Eric Spina.