The Foundation for Tacoma Students is more than a name. Eric Wilson and Julia Garnett, with leadership from a strong board of directors, have carved a clear path into the future. Their metrics are grounded in the reality of day-to-day educational challenges, including addressing the education achievement gap.
“There is no ‘silver bullet,’ or single solution to help OUR children grow ‘from cradle to college to career,’ and to become actively engaged citizens,” Eric said during the community gathering on Thursday, January 23rd.
There are nine Student Indicators, and six Community Indicators that take all of the current, wonderful efforts that so many individuals, businesses, congregations, and other groups are doing to support OUR children and schools. Graduate Tacoma is a community-wide effort to bring all of those seemingly disparate activities into a single direction, and shared common vision.
The Goal: By 2020, there will be a 50% increase in graduation rates, and in completing higher education.
When the Foundation for Tacoma Students began in 2010, graduation rates were 58%, and in 2013 it grew to be 68%, and by 2020 will be 87%. But education will not end with the high school diploma. Education will continue into higher education systems. In 2010, graduation from higher ed schools was 31%, and by 2020 the higher education graduation rates of Tacoma students will be 47%.
As one speaker said, “50% is not the end goal, but it is growth in the right direction.”
The religious community has a long-standing history with our education systems, including having strong ties to the founding of our public education system. Today, many congregations have early childhood centers/day care, after school programs, tutoring and reading programs, and summer enrichment programs for students. The religious community continues to be concerned, and engaged in our children’s future. Associated Ministries will be exploring how we might support the effort to bring all of our energies, commitment, and activities into conversation with one another to explore how we can join in the common vision of Graduate Tacoma. But we will not stop at the Tacoma borders —- we will be engaging all of the congregations throughout Pierce County.
If you would like to learn more about Graduate Tacoma, including the Annual Community Impact Report, please visit their web site: www.GraduateTacoma.org.
Participate in Quality Pre-School
Ready to Succeed in Kindergarten
3rd Grade Reading—At or Above Grade Level
6th Grade Achievement
8th Grade Achievement—Passing and Progression
9th Grade Achievement
College Entry Exam—Participation and Performance
Post-Secondary Admission & Enrollment
Culture of High Expectations for All
Parent and Family Engagement
Early Academic & Social-Emotional Support
Expanded Leaning & Enrichment Opportunities
Safe, Healthy & Nurturing Environment