There’s a new effort in the Highline School District to improve a graduation rate that they believe is not high enough. The 2015 graduation rate in the district was at 70%, beating the 2014 rate that was a little more than 62%.
Community and district leaders are calling the new push “Graduate! Highline.” The movement will include a heavy presence from community members who will help support students on their way to a high school diploma.
“There was a time in our country when kids went home to community and not home to houses,” Seatac YMCA’s Sean Goode said. “And we need to get back to this place where we see all of our kids. Not just the kids who look like our kids, but we see all of our kids. Black kids, brown kids, white kids, all kids our kids when they live in our community.”
Goode is one of the community leaders with the project. Their goal is to push the graduation rate in the school district to 95% as soon as next year. A few of the main components of the movement include making sure that kids are prepared for the first day of kindergarten, that they have supports when they transition from middle to high school, and that they see the possibilities they have after they graduate.
“That’s what Graduate Highline is,” Goode said. “We create a community fabric to make sure that we grip kids, make sure that they are warm, held close, held tight, and know that they’re supported through graduation.”
If the effort is going to be successful, however, they need your help.
“Here’s an example,” Goode said. “We have pre-SAT’s coming up at our high schools later this month. You know how hard it is to take a test when they’re hungry. The kids need water bottles and snacks. I’m going to reach out to some of the grocery stores and say ‘Hey, are you willing to donate water bottles and granola bars so our kids can take tests without being hungry.”
If you are interested in helping out you can find more information on how you can do that on their website at graduatehighline.com