Our Big Goal
We believe that all kids should be ready, successful and prepared for life. We want 90% of Anchorage students to graduate by the year 2020. We have partnered with individuals and organizations from the whole community to work together alongside schools and families to address the issues that undermine student performance.
In the past decade we have increased graduation rates in Anchorage from 59% to 80.7% and seen a groundswell in the community commitment to support the youth in our community. But we still have work to do.
Reaching high school graduation begins long before high school. There are several milestones along the way that will help determine if a child will be able to achieve high school graduation. Being ready for kindergarten will help them reach 3rd grade literacy proficiency. Being at grade level for 3rd grade reading will make it possible for them to succeed in 8th grade math. If they start out high school in the 9th grade with all their credits to stay on track, they are much less likely to drop out around their junior or senior year. If at any point in time, a student becomes chronically absent, it is nearly impossible for them to stay up on their school work and may not meet these milestones.
How we're getting there.
We have modeled our system to get the right kids the right supports at the right time. Meaning that students who have needs are able to be connected to services that can help them succeed. We've created this model through Community PLUS Schools and Back On Track, that each have staff that are focused on the needs of students, whether they are academic or non-academic. When students get that targeted extra help, they are much more likely to succeed.
High school graduation is associated with higher income, better health, lower criminal activity, and lower welfare receipt. The whole community benefits from increased graduation rates.
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We are lucky to have several community partners who understand the investment needed in the future of our community.
Rasmuson Foundation awarded 90% by 2020 $1 million over the course of 3 years for work associated with 90% by 2020.
AT&T awarded United Way of Anchorage a $750,000 grant in partnership with the Anchorage School District and Covenant House Alaska over two years through the AT&T Aspire Grant to help fund the Back on Track initiative.
ConocoPhillips has donated over $500,000 over the last eight years to our PLUS Schools initiative.
First National Banks of Alaska directs $120,000 of their corporate gift over five years to ensure more kids are successful.
CIRI donated $40,000 through their annual golf tournament.
BP donated $30,000 to the Back on Track initiative to hire teachers to work with youth at high risk of not graduating. This gift supplemented a grant for funds that could not be used to support school district employees.
The Municipality of Anchorage donated $31,000 to provide transportation to and from after-school activities for Community PLUS Schools students.
ExxonMobil has contributed $30,000 to 90% Graduation by 2020 efforts over the last five years.
Wells Fargo makes a corporate match to 90% by 2020 with their workforce campaign.
In-kind donation received from Covenant House Alaska for the Back on Track initiative.
Anchorage School District provides support services to the Back on Track initiative.
Alaska Public Media provided in-kind promotional support for 90% Graduation by 2020.
United Way of Anchorage through Workplace Campaign donors provides major funding to the 90% by 2020 initiative.