High school dropouts are not a problem just in a few areas of Kentucky, but are a reality in all communities in the Commonwealth. Dropouts are not all from the same background, and they could be a child of any race or socioeconomic standing. Many times, dropout can be prevented by adults taking active interest in the student’s lives.
Did you know?
- In 2007 the Kentucky teenage population that dropped out of high school was estimated at 8%.
- A high school dropout contributes about $60,000 less in taxes over their lifetime.
- Kentucky’s economy would see a combination of crime-related savings and additional revenue of approximately $87.4 million each year if the male graduation rate were increased by just 5 percent!
- Dropouts typically have worse health outcomes and often do not live as long as someone who completed high school.
- The largest factor in preventing high school dropouts is a positive relationship with an adult mentor.
What you as a community member can do to help
- Be involved. Being active in organizations that provide services to youth, such as civic groups or faith-based organizations, puts you in a position to connect with youth and teens and make a difference in their lives.
- Be a sponsor. Sponsor capital improvements, professional development seminars for teachers, or other school initiatives.
- Be a mentor. Volunteer your time and talents tutoring at-risk students in subjects they may be struggling in. Mentor students that are underprivileged and just need to know that someone like you cares.
- Watch for warning signs. There are signs that a student is in danger or dropping out. These signs include frequent school absences, lack of participation in extracurricular activities, hearing students say they dislike school, and continual discipline referrals are all warning signs that students are at-risk of dropping out. If you notice these behaviors in friends or neighbors, alert someone to the fact that this student may be in danger.
Resources for Communities
Service-Learning and Dropout Prevention: True Prevention Starts Early is an article in Youth Service California’s blog about service-learning being good dropout prevention for elementary level children.
Building systems-level partnerships in out-of-school time programs (PDF)
Building a Districtwide Movement for Small Schools Reform is a six-year study by the Annenberg Institute that documents how low-income communities of color have organized to improve their local schools.
What Your Community Can Do to End its Dropout Crisis (PDF)
Whatever It Takes: How Twelve Communities are Reconnecting Out-Of-School Youth (PDF)
Communities in Schools
- Information for students to consider about the importance of education and staying in school
- Information for parents to help your children meet the education challenge
- Best practices of Schools across the Commonwealth accepting the challenge
- See how Communities throughout Kentucky can accept the challenge
- See How Your Business can accept the challenge and win with Kentucky