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Education

AMERICAN GRADUATE: Carla McIntosh, Community Connections

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Cyd Hoskinson
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WJCT

89.9 WJCT is participating in the American Graduate project supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  The goal of American Graduate is to reverse the national drop out crisis by identifying and then addressing the factors that cause students to leave school early.

“Carla McIntosh.  I am the area director for youth programs, Community Connections.

Children from homeless backgrounds.  From low income, impoverished backgrounds tend to have a delay in their academic learning because of a variety of reasons.  It can stem from not having breakfast in the mornings.  Maybe mom, dad or custodial parent or guardian is not feeling well that morning and they start off bad, bad attitude, and it lingers over to the child.  And the child just simply doesn’t have self-esteem. They lose all focus of learning, thinking, engaging social behaviors.

So Duval County Public Schools and the city have been really working very diligently with the social service agencies to provide these after school programs that will capture these kids a reason to stay in school and to work hard.  And our rewards will be, we’ll help you go to a Jaguar game, or we will help find gym shoes, or we will provide you with athletic cleats—in fact, someone just donated about seven pairs last week.

So we’ll do what we have to do to work with these young people to get them to stay in school.”