06/10/13 — If it works ... Graduation coaches program has proven its worth

View Archive

If it works ... Graduation coaches program has proven its worth

There is one line item in the upcoming city and county budgets that should not even prompt a discussion -- money for the continuation -- and expansion -- of the Communities in Schools graduation coaches program.

The concept behind the program is to pair adults with at-risk students to keep them on the path to graduation.

And it is working.

Truth is, the program should begin earlier than in high school -- and this year it did, to rave reviews.

Officials talk all the time about the importance of the county's children -- and the need to get more people headed into productive lives and futures.

Yet, when it comes to programs and ideas that can accomplish just that sort of achievement, they hedge their bets, saying that funding should come from other sources.

Well, those officials are wrong.

Investing in a program that puts more high school -- and potentially college -- diplomas in the hands of students only strengthens this county.

It builds a work force, keeps teens and young adults off the streets and sets a course for their futures that does not include drugs or crime.

And that is what Wayne County needs to attract more investment and to build its own future.

So, no excuses.

County, city and Mount Olive officials should get together and come up with a plan to make sure there are graduation coaches in as many high schools as possible -- and that the middle school coaches also will be retained.

All it will take is a little focus.

After all, all the city has to do is to stop buying useless buildings, and the county might not be able to add a satellite truck to its expensive "is anybody out there" TV station.

Seems like a good trade-off to us.

Published in Editorials on June 10, 2013 10:37 AM