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Together, We Can Give All Kids an Equal Chance in School

Together, We Can Give All Kids an Equal Chance in School

Educational disparities are high in Minnesota. Kids from lower-income homes are struggling, without a fair chance to do well in school. Across the state, programs and services are not equally distributed across all communities, and this has a devastating effect on kids.

In Minnesota, 70.5 percent of students from higher-income homes met 3rd grade reading standards, while only 38 percent of students from lower-income homes met those same standards in 2017.*

But, the reading gap is preventable! There are many things we can do to level the playing field. As a community, we can focus on early education programs serving low-income families, like Lifetrack’s Families Together Therapeutic Preschool. With your help, we can continue to fight disparities and help kids achieve greater success.

At Lifetrack, we know that language changes everything. Let us share an example: Bret is a 3-year-old whose mother struggled with serious addiction that prevented her from providing her children a safe environment and basic care. Bret experienced a great deal of trauma in his early years, such as violence and drug-use in his home.

Bret was eventually placed in foster care with relatives. When Bret began attending school at Lifetrack, he believed that the world was a dangerous place. Since his early development hadn’t been fostered, his skills lagged behind those of his peers. He would attempt to communicate, but people couldn’t understand his words. His language levelwas close to a 3-month-old’s. A word like “stop,” came out as “da.”

Lifetrack staff met to discuss Bret’s needs and he was provided with speech and language therapy, along with other supports. These services helped to increase Bret’s skills, which helped him to feel more competent and less frustrated by everyday tasks.

Near the end of the school year, he hopped onto the bus after a break and his teacher greeted him cheerfully, saying that they had all missed him. He looked at his teacher with a smile and announced clearly, “I know that!” He had come to believe that there were adults in the  world who cared about him, and just as importantly, he had the language skills to express his own worth.

We want to ensure all kids are on a more equal footing when they enter their classroom on their first day of kindergarten. But, we can’t do it alone. Will you fight educational disparities with us?

Investing in successful futures for children in Minnesota starts with Lifetrack. Despite challenges like poverty and trauma, 96 percent of our preschoolers graduate meeting age- appropriate developmental milestones.

But here’s the thing -- we need you. Please help us continue to do this work.

· For $440, you can provide a month of speech/language therapy for one child.
· For $100, you can provide language and literacy supplies for one classroom.
· Or $50 can provide books to promote literacy in the home.

Any amount is meaningful. As a Lifetrack supporter, you are a champion for a stronger, more compassionate community. You help families and kids overcome disparities in health, education, and income so that they can truly thrive in Minnesota.

Please consider making a donation today. We are filled with gratitude for community champions like you! Thank you.