QUINCY, Fla. (WTXL) — Monday, Gadsden County officials held a press conference to announce their new Youth Investment Program.
With this new program Gadsden County will invest $6.7 million over the span of 10 years. It will go towards things such as tutors, reading coaches, a summer job program, and a new boys and girls club.
“They are our future doctors, they are our future lawyers, they are our future judges, they are our teachers, they are our future county commissioners. We will not be in this place all our lives. At some point we have to make sure we are investing in those who are to come behind us,” Ronterious Green said.
Gadsden County currently has 10% of its third grade students reading at a proficient reading level and 27% passed their reading exam. This is a four-point decline from the 2021 scoring.
Superintendent Elijah Key believes the new Youth Investment Program will be a game changer when it comes to academics.
“It definitely will help move the bar quicker because once again, everybody now is pitching in to help. It’s not just the school district by themselves. That’s the way its operated in the past. Same district responsible for the education of kids, it’s everybody, the entire village of Gadsden County must come together to solve the issue,” says Elijah Key.
Only 27% of Gadsden County Students received a score of three on their reading exams. A three is not proficient in the state of Florida but only satisfactory.
“Studies have shown that Boys and Girls Clubs being in the community help drive down crime rates. So, we hope to have a state-of-the-art facility in Gadsden County to reduce crime, give kids a safe positive place to be, help with their education, career advancement,” says Kacy Dennis.
City Officials do not have a build date yet but are asking for the community to show their support and donate.