SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The annual Step Forward report on the status of Northwest Louisiana children was released Wednesday.
The report gives information on how children in our community are doing from infancy to young adulthood. The goal is to make sure all children in Northwest Louisiana have the tools to set themselves for lifelong success.
Step Forward is a team consisting of businesses, education, government, non-profit, philanthropy and faith-based organizations. They all have the common goal to create the necessary opportunities for children to give them that life long success. Executive Director Laura Alderman, says the report shows there has been an improvement from last year, it also shows there is a lot of room to grow.
"I think we have cause for concern when we see that more than half of our children are not ready for school, they're starting out with a deficit or disadvantage. And that needs to change," said Alderman.
There are positives in this report, according to Alderman, high school graduation rates increased, and school performance scores improved. She said there have been promising gains, especially when children in 3rd grade have a literacy volunteer, to help them read.
Alderman says the number one thing parents should know about making sure their kids are prepared for lifelong success, is to interact with their child from the day they were born. To make sure they have the skills they need before they even go to school.
Step Forward works closely with school districts, sharing the information they've found as well as new ideas to improve students educations, as well as making sure students have strong, qualified teachers.