As part of an overall framework for our grantmaking, our advocacy and our leadership, the Community Foundation is focusing on four key Results, including this one: Children are successful along the education pipeline.
The reports from experts echo our own experience: How far we get in school is a major predictor of health status, economic security and overall well-being.
That’s why the situation in our state is so serious, with a dangerously high dropout rate listed by the Southern Education Foundation as Alabama’s number one economic issue. While we have attracted and expanded major industries, Alabama still trails the nation in education attainment, which threatens our economic competitiveness.
The Community Foundation recognizes the urgent need for policies, priorities and programs that can be effective in improving the Birmingham region’s education system. We’ve already seen examples where community engagement has been successful in setting the stage for education improvement, often by influencing policy, leadership and the distribution of resources, such as our Yes We Can! Birmingham grassroots initiative, which led to the creation of the Birmingham Education Foundation.
Our grants for this Result focus on two strategies:
- Increase high quality early learning opportunities from birth through fifth grade
- Increase career and college readiness