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More than 200 community members -- including students, parents and business leaders -- recently joined forces to kick off a grass-roots effort to increase graduation rates in Tacoma schools.

The city wants to boost rates by 50 percent by 2020.Leaders claim a big part of that is focusing on early learning.

It's not just a one-step support trying to get them into college, says Elwis Johnson, a community member who is part of the effort. It's making them ready to be in college. Because if you get there and you're not ready to succeed you're going to be one of those that drops in college...

Organizers say there is a role for everyone in the community, and they are looking for mentors and volunteers.
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