WXXI AM News

ROC the Future

The Rochester community is seeing improvements in the annual report card that tracks key measures for children in the city, but there are still challenges. That’s the gist of the annual report card from ROC the Future, which is a public private partnership consisting of government and community organizations.

Larry Marx is CEO of the group called The Children’s Agenda, and he says this report card shows that the number of four year olds enrolled in Pre-K and Head Start has grown to nearly 97 percent.

Are Rochester kids better off today than in 2011? That’s when a community-wide initiative called ROC The Future launched. The effort has been an all-hands-on-deck collaboration focused on one thing: improving the state of children in Rochester. On this Need to Know segment we’ll learn what’s working, what isn’t and if things are moving forward fast enough.

ROC the Future is gearing up to release its 2017 State of Our Children report. The document tracks how Rochester's children are faring "from cradle to career." The 2016 report highlighted progress in third grade reading levels and a reduction in absenteeism, while demonstrating the need for improvement in students' math proficiency and parental involvement.

So how did we do this year? We review the 2016 report and preview this year's findings, which are set to be released next month. In studio:

  • Ajamu Kitwana, executive director of ESL Charitable Foundation and chair of ROC the Future
  • Erika Rosenberg, principal at the Center for Governmental Research
  • Jackie Campbell, director of ROC the Future

Conversations are taking place in Rochester that focus on increasing the graduation rate to 90% by 2020. Some of the leaders in this effort say it may be a lofty goal, but that it's about raising expectations and changing mind-sets in the community. It's called the Grad Nation movement and it's happening in 100 cities across the country including Rochester.

It could take a decade before community agencies in Rochester are able to see the fruits of their labor in helping city kids succeed from birth to college and career. That’s according to Leonard Brock, Alliance Director for the ROC the Future community-wide initiative. Need to Know Rochester digs into a new Report Card released by ROC the Future grading how the city is doing in helping improve student outcomes.

Also on the show, religious leaders of all denominations and faiths are coming together this weekend to advocate for under-served children in the region. And a look at Fashion Week of Rochester – its mission and its message.

A new report card is out. This one is grading the Rochester community to see how well it's doing to better prepare city kids from birth to college and career. Did Rochester make the grade? Also on the show, members of the local faith community are coming together as a call to action. They're advocating for more supports to help under-served kids in the region. And Fashion Week of Rochester is now here. We'll learn more about the message behind the event. Watch Thursday at 8pm on WXXI-TV, Channel 21 and Cable 11 or 1011.