The Challenge

Across our country, students from low-income families face inequities in access to technology, cultural enrichment, the arts, and more – resulting in gaps in vocabulary, academic and social-emotional skills, creativity, and health that have a profound impact on student achievement, engagement, and individual life success.

  • 57% of Bridgeport Public School students come from low income families.
  • In 2018-19, only 27% of Bridgeport third-graders were at or above grade level in reading, and only 17% of Bridgeport fourth-graders were at or above grade level in math.
  • In Bridgeport, the four-year high school graduation rate has been between 64% and 75% in the past four years.
  • 2-3 months are typically lost in reading and math over the summer, and this loss becomes cumulative.
  • A 6th grade student who misses more than 20% of class, whose teacher reports poor behavior, or who fails math or English has a 70% likelihood of dropping out.
  • Low-income students are 6 times more likely to drop out of high school and less likely to enroll in college.
  • Young adults with a college degree earn more than twice as much as those without a high school credential.

A 2011 study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that children who cannot read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma. Children who grow up in poverty have much less access than their more affluent peers to safe neighborhoods, quality out-of-school-time programs, and excellent schools – a perfect storm for creating and sustaining systemic inequity.