As of 2011, America was the only free-market OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country where the current generation was less educated than the previous one. This poses many problems to the future economic and social sustainability of our local communities. The statistics purport that students who don't read proficiently by the 3rd grade are 4 times likelier to drop out of school and 90% of high school dropouts are on welfare. Moreover, 2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up on welfare or in jail. Over 70% of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th grade level. Nearly 85% of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, proving that there is a close relationship between illiteracy and crime.
To address this disparity, The Greater Works Networks is coordinating with churches through ACTS and community organizations to facilitate and implement Reconnecting Youth. Reconnecting Youth was originally intended to be implemented through the local school system as a part of the instructional day. However, this program is being adapted for use in the community with youth 11-18. Objectives of the program include Increase school performance, Decrease drug involvement, Decrease suicide-risk behaviors. By helping students develop success skills and strategies for dealing with risk factors at school, with peers, with self, and within family, Reconnecting Youth is enhancing the self-esteem, decision making, self-control and interpersonal communication - All of which enhance academic, economic, and social outcomes!
We recognize within our local school systems there are limited resources. Resources that must be prioitized for the greatest good which leaves the least of us neglected and hopeless. However, in the community Church we are supplied through Christ Jesus. The Lord provides willing hearts and minds to willingly volunteer time, donate money, and give other resources to support and benefit the youth and our community now and into the future. Through Reconnecting Youth in cooperation and collaboration with ACTS churches we aim to bring hope and help to those who need it most.
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