Group battling poverty in Indiana schools

(Photo Supplied/Indiana News Service)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO/Network Indiana): One of the reasons why Hoosier children are struggling in school is because of poverty.

“It does not give them some of the enrichment activities or some of the basic support that they need to be successful in school,” says Vivian Ashmawi, the executive director of Communities in Schools of Indiana.

She says more than half of Hoosier students come to school without the resources they need to be prepared to learn. “So what Communities in Schools does is help bring those resources to the school districts, tap into the resources that might already be in a community and then help those students be more successful.”

Ashmawi says that in three Indiana communities: Lake County, Clark County and Wayne County, part of the success in those school districts has been increased graduation rates even though the poverty level continues to climb. “We’re able to demonstrate that we can help those kids be better prepared to go into post-secondary education and into the workforce,” she said.

Communities in Schools of Indiana is an organization that’s being recognized nationally for helping students who live in poverty. They’ve been operating locally for 15 years, serving 18,000 students each year and the graduation rate is 93% among even the toughest cases.

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