Change Starts Here: Through Collaboration, Compassion, and Community
In Cocke County, around 53% of incoming kindergarten students were considered Kindergarten Ready this school year. Around 30% of the third-grade students in 2021-22 were reading at or above grade level. Tennessee determines successful entry into postsecondary education or the workforce by a measurement called Ready Graduate. This measurement is fairly new and began with 2017's graduating class. In 2021, just over 26% of Cocke County's graduates met this benchmark compared to 40% statewide. Food insecurity among children under 18 was in decline at 25% until the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, the most recent data (2020) for Cocke County estimates that 2 out of 6 children are food insecure.
But why do these numbers matter for businesses, parents and community members? The early education milestones predict better grades and a lower drop out risk for high school. Higher dropout rates are associated with an increased risk of poverty, low self-esteem, depression, unemployment, and involvement in criminal activity. Children that are hungry cannot learn. Success for our children is success for ALL of us.
Cocke County is moving these numbers in the right direction, but big change can happen when we all work together- educators, business leaders, politicians, and parents. What can YOU do to improve kindergarten readiness, third grade reading scores, ready graduates, or food security?
Join us at our Town Hall meeting- Change Starts Here: Through Collaboration, Compassion and Community. C-5 is working with members of the community, so all children have an equal opportunity to a healthy and strong foundation in life. Learn more about our work in Cocke County and where we'd like to go from here with your help. Lend us your voice- see how you can join us on this journey and make change start here!