The newest kids count data report shows Indiana National Education Ranking has dropped. Despite the setback, Indiana children did make some improvements, especially when it comes to reading proficiency.
One tristate organization is helping kids boost those numbers.
Although the national education ranking for the state of Indiana has dropped this year, the students and staff at the Boys and Girls Club are working to turn those numbers around.
Marcus Johnson is a fourth-grader and spends a lot of time at the Boys and Girls Club of Evansville.
“To be with my cousins, my friends and playing basketball,” said Johnson of why he enjoys his time at the Boys and Girls Club.
But it’s more than just fun and games there.
“We do all kinds of programming,” said Boys and Girls of Evansville Executive Director Ron Ryan.
“It’s not just where people come to play basketball. There’s all types of educational programming here and we stress academics to the kids daily.”
“We go in the library and read, and do our spelling works in the morning when it’s school days,” said Johnson.
Kids count data shows, Indiana ranks 14th in the nation for education in 2018, but this year the Hoosier State ranks 21st. That’s partially because 16 percent of Hoosier students aren’t graduating on time. But things are different at the Boys and Girls Club.
“Ninety-Eight percent of our kids do graduate high school, which is higher than the city average,” said Ryan.
However, the amount of Hoosier fourth-graders proficient in reading has increased, which has been the biggest improvement in the past decade.
“Here we have a program called, “Indiana Kids,” where we pre-and-post test kids in reading and math and 67 percent of our kids were bringing up two grade level and beyond,” said Ryan.
Scholarships are also offered as an incentive to help kids graduate high school.
“So, every kid that graduates from here, we’ll give them a $1,000 a year, for four years of college” said Ryan.
Which is why Johnson says his time at the Boys and Girls Club is setting him up to boost Indiana’s national education rank.
“That will probably help me get a scholarship and get a job,” said Johnson.