The saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So, picture this: a school hallway with lockers in the background and two young children in front. One child walks briskly by, toting a tiny backpack. The other child struggles, lugging several heavy suitcases labeled “hunger,” “sickness” and “trauma” — all baggage of poverty.
It’s easy to guess which child will have the more productive day in the classroom.
Dodgertown Elementary School in Gifford is a Title I school in Indian River County with an exceptionally high percentage of students from low-income families. Many, unfortunately, face obstacles that prevent them from fully engaging in learning.
However, Dodgertown Elementary has been designated as a Community Partnership School, part of a 25-year project to address barriers to education by providing needed resources to lift up the students, then their families, and ultimately the Gifford community.
The Community Partnership Schools model is a proven success nationally and in multiple school districts in the state of Florida.