VOCM sponsored an after school program (See Youth Leadership Development) for 3rd graders at Pecan Park Elementary School in west Jackson. This year was the first year that all 3rd graders in the state of Mississippi had to pass the 3rd grade gateway test. We provided funding for 3 teachers and 3 assistants to work four afternoons a week with 25 students who were struggling in reading and math. 13 or 52%of our students passed the test. The remaining students have 2 additional chances to prepare for and pass this test and graduate to fourth grade. Although we would have liked to have had a higher percentage, we recognize that most of the ones who passed would not have done so without the extra help.
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