The Bartlesville Regional United Way announced that it has provided $10,000 in funding to Bartlesville Education Promise for 2017.
“We have been encouraged by the number of donors and volunteers that are helping our schools,” BEP Chairman Martin Garber said. “Today, we are providing teachers to stay after school as tutors in ALL Bartlesville Schools. Comments from our teachers are saying the BEP efforts are making a difference. We recognize our efforts will take time, however, we know if our community continues to provide the support we are seeing, we will meet our goal of an increased graduation rate for our kids.”
The overall goal of BEP programs is to improve the graduation rate in the Bartlesville schools. Over the last 10 years, the graduation rate has dropped to 83 percent. A large part of this is due to a reduction in state funding and a growth in families who quality for free and reduced lunches at school, which is a good measure of how many lower income students are present in a school district. Currently, over 50 percent of children in BPSD qualify for free and reduced lunches. Also, nearly 250 students have trouble with the English language, and 400 students are classified as “homeless,” all of which puts these youth at risk of not doing well in school, leading to them dropping out.
“The United Way’s support of this program fits into United Way’s mission of fighting for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community,” Bartlesville Regional United Way CEO and President Lisa Cary said. “We are proud to be a part of a program that is stepping up to meet these challenges and having such great results.”
Over 2,000 youth benefitted from Bartlesville Education Promise’s programs during the last school year. At-risk elementary students were provided with books that they could take home from school, as many do not have access to children’s books at home.
“This is especially important since the new law that requires children to be able to read at the third grade reading level to advance to the next grade,” BRUW Marketing Manager Abigail Singrey said. “United Way is excited to be a part of this literacy initiative.”
At the high school level, tutoring was offered in math, English and science. During the second semester of the school year, 957 tutoring sessions were held. Transition camps were offered to help students learn what was expected of them at new schools, and 240 students participated. They also offered ACT/PSAT camps, AP readiness camp, a STEM camp at Tri-County Tech, and an art and science camp at the Boys and Girls Club and Teen Center.
For more information on Bartlesville Regional United Way’s support of education initiatives, visit this page.