JOPLIN, Mo. —
The Joplin school district’s Bright Futures program is one of 24 organizations across the nation recently recognized as a Together for Tomorrow Challenge winner by the U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Together for Tomorrow is an initiative launched this year in connection with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships that highlights programs in order to spur community efforts to improve schools, according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“Organizations like these that engage the community are vital to the success of children in school,” Chris Nicastro, the state’s commissioner of education, said in a statement announcing the award.
Joplin’s Bright Futures program partners with businesses, faith-based organizations and parent groups to help meet students’ basic needs quickly.
According to Kim Vann, community development director for Joplin schools, Bright Futures has inspired others to get more involved in their schools and improve student outcomes in the areas of attendance, behavior, course performance and college access.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement regarding the winners: “The Together for Tomorrow Challenge winners we recognize today have made model commitments to help foster partnerships, propel school improvement and produce better outcomes for students. To sustain change over the long haul, nothing is more important.”
Another Missouri winner
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri in St. Louis was also recognized as a Together for Tomorrow winner.