No longer deemed a “failure factor.”
Students at two local schools celebrate a boost in their grades.
The two schools we're talking about are Campbell Park and Melrose Elementary.
The Florida Department of Education gave them both failing grades for the past few years.
Now, both schools have upgraded to C grades.
Melrose Elementary has had an F rating for the past 6 years.
Three years ago, it was the state's lowest performing school. 90 percent of its students are minorities.
For Campbell Park, they spent the last 4 years at an F.
92 percent of their students are minorities.
Sunday evening, the community came together at Campbell park pool to celebrate the accomplishment.
The event was thrown by the non-profit “I support youth.”
Founder, Lewis Stephens knows firsthand, the self-esteem issues that come with attending a school deemed a " Failure Factor.”
“We had kids coming to the schools asking is there hope? So, it played a huge part in what took place,” says Stephens.
The program emphasizes education, strength, and success.
“We had to pull them back and let them know they're not failures,” he says. ” I’ve seen kids that couldn't read now being able to read. I’ve seen kids that couldn't do math, now doing math.”
Although these schools may have financial barriers, group leaders say motivation is key.
“We have a saying ‘ I am, I can and I will.’ Just repeating that constantly brings a lot of confidence and just builds their character,” says the girls' youth mentor, Julia Burks.
Mom Laketta Davis feels programs like "I support youth are a big reason the grades improved.
“Show them that there is a support system and people that will guide them along the way,” says Davis.
The hard work has just started but the community is hopeful that the schools will rise to one day get an A.
“I support youth” partners with schools in Pinellas County.
They offer mentor programs and assist students with visiting colleges.
Coming in October, the program will expand to Hillsborough County.