Dr. Frank Roberson says he started the academic year with one goal in mind: to raise the graduation rate in Richmond County to at least 90 percent. To do that, he says, he knew he had to target students and parents in the area with the greatest need.
"We have a group that happens to be African Americans that are not performing as well as we expect them to," he explains.
Dr. Roberson says increasing engagement will help solve the problem, but it'll take the effort of the entire community.
"Effort is a very important element that as educators or as church leaders we have not tapped or instilled in students,"he adds.
School and church leaders got together to learn how community engagement affects student success and ways to help those in need. Presentations were given on the current student success rates and tools to improve the rates in problem areas.
Church leaders tell me they're taking lessons from today's forum back to their respective churches and spreading them to communities near by.
Pastor Melvin Lowry with Belle-Terrace Presbyterian Church says, "it's important that there is a communication between the schools, the parents and the church."
Pastor Lowry says the unique role the church plays in the African American community gives his church an advantage in bridging the gap between students and their parents; one that he plans to capitalize on in the schools and neighborhoods closest to him.
He says, "we're trying to make a difference in the lives of those students who are coming up behind us because someone made a difference in our lives as well."
A difference those in attendance designated themselves to make throughout Augusta-Richmond County.
The first student recognition day for this new initiative will be held on Friday, October 25th at the B-O-E building on Broad Street.
1336 Augusta West Parkway
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