Generation Next is an alliance of community partners focusing on youth development for children in kindergarten through college in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Funded programs are designed to improve kindergarten readiness, third grade reading proficiency, ninth grade readiness for upper-level math, four-year graduation rates, and college enrollment rates for between 1,500 and 2,000 low-income youth each year.
Way to Grow Executive Director, Carolyn Smallwood said, “We’re thrilled to be a part of this amazing network of organizations. Our collective work in the Minneapolis community echoes the ongoing research and trends we’re seeing around the country, which shows that extended learning time for families in need can significantly increase the outcomes of students and help close the achievement gap.”
Way to Grow will focus their fund expenditures on children ages 3 to 8 and, in particular, their school readiness programs. “At the end of 2012, 80% of our students were deemed ready for school,” said Smallwood. “Compared to low-income students as a whole in Minneapolis, students in Way to Grow’s programming are reversing negative academic trends.”