The current birth rate in the ELNC Target Neighborhood
is around 1,389.
At the same time this Current Reality Report was published, the Grand Rapids Public School System released the following information:
83% of children entering kindergarten scored less than proficient in a composite of key literacy indicators.
When asked why 83% of children were unprepared for kindergarten, ELNC found research that demonstrates:
“The Social, Physical and cognitive development of a child is negatively impacted when, beginning with their prenatal experience and continuing through early childhood, they are surrounded by an environment of poverty.” AND, “As a child reaches the age of 4, especially those children who have not experienced ideal developmental environments previously, the availability and access to quality preschool is critical to their future success in school.”
In other words, students in our target neighborhoods are especially vulnerable to stunted academic development because of the economic and social environment they are placed in. Without access to high-quality early childhood education to intervene during this critical development period, it is no wonder that in 2010 GRPS had a graduation rate only slightly over 50%.