Closing the achievement gap

The Ozarks Regional YMCA in partnership with the Ozarks Literacy Council and funding from Community Foundation of the Ozarks’ Innovation Grant are teaming up for collective impact. The project is a pilot that will lay the foundation for future achievement gap initiatives in the Ozarks Regional YMCA’s after school program. The network currently serves over 2,000 youth in 35+ schools across the region. If successful, it has the potential with community support to create population level impact on academic achievement, when scaled and implemented in other schools. It could also be a part of a future community-wide cradle to career collective impact model.

This pilot program will pair 20 elementary students from Boyd and Bowerman Elementary with a trained literacy coach from Ozarks Literacy Council two nights a week for an hour. The pilot will occur from January to April of 2016 and will measure pre and post Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) scores to determine impact. Independent third party evaluation will be provided by Christina Ryder at Missouri State University through funding provided by Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

Bowerman and Boyd were chosen for the pilot, because they are located in Zone 1. The area has an academic achievement gap, an issue that was highlighted as a red flag in the 2011, 2013, and 2015 Community Focus Reports. Data from Springfield Public School’s 2013-2014 annual report highlights the differences in achievement at schools like Boyd and Bowerman compared to the city and state as a whole. The mobility rates for Bowerman and Boyd are 30% to 40% higher than the district average. Third Grade English Language Arts (ELA) Map scores for Bowerman Elementary and Boyd were lower than the state and district averages for the 2013-2014 school year. The percentage of students receiving proficient and advanced standing were 10.5% and 21.4% compared to 36.4% in the district, and 42.3% statewide. For more information on this program feel free to contact the ORYMCA or OLC.

The Ozarks Regional YMCA has served the community for more than 125 years and has more than 20,000 members in the association and hopes to engage more people in the communities it serves whether it is as a member, volunteer, supporter or advocate. To learn more about our program, family centers, and how you can get involved, visit, or join us on Facebook “Ozarks Regional YMCA”. The Ozarks Regional YMCA consists of eight family centers including, The Ozark Mountain Branch in Hollister, Bolivar/Dallas County, Monett/Cassville, Lebanon Family YMCA, two facilities in Springfield, Resident Camp Wakonda and School Age Services.

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