Area leaders joined together Wednesday to collaborate and develop a plan to help raise the city’s high school graduation rate.
Rochester’s Grad Nation Summit served as a platform to discuss ideas centered on early childhood education, reading on grade level, and parental engagement among other focus areas.
The goal of Grad Nation is to develop a strategy to ensure 90% of city high school students graduate by the year 2020.
Patrick Corvington, Senior Fellow with the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, was one of the keynote speakers for Wednesday's summit. He said the graduation rate goal is a realistic one and that it can be accomplished in part by focusing on early childhood education.
"This notion of grade-level reading, kids learning by the 3rd grade is critical, 3rd grade is where kids go from learning to read to reading to learn.," said Corvington. "We know that kids who come from poor communities are 13 times less likely to graduate from high school because they're not reading by the third grade so that's an important push for us, to tie early education, zero-8, to high school graduation," Corvington said.
Rochester is one of a hundred cities in the US working on the same goal.
Leaders with the city’s Grad Nation campaign say it’s not about starting a new program or initiative, but creating better collaboration between agencies and programs that already exist.
Grad Nation was launched by America’s Promise Alliance founded by General Colin Powell.