Bright Futures Carthage
Carthage, Missouri | http://brightfuturescarthage.weebly.com/
Bright Futures-Carthage is a community based program that creates partnerships and utilizes community resources for the common goal of helping our children, strengthening our families and community. Bright Futures is about cultural change and building a community where education is valued. John F. Kennedy said, “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” By helping to create important structures around kids that they need, to be successful learners and community members, Bright Futures is actively addressing high school dropout rates and the future of Carthage and its students. All children deserve to learn, lead and serve to their full potential.
Currently 63% (3291) of Carthage's student population qualify for free or reduced lunch due to low parental income. While these students are not the only students Bright Futures serves; they do represent the majority. Research shows that children who are often without enough food to eat are at higher risk for chronic health conditions, have a poorer physical quality of life, which may prevent them from fully engaging in daily activities such as school and social interaction with peers. The American Psychological Association reports, poor students are "at greater risk for several negative outcomes such as poor academic achievement, school dropout, abuse and neglect, behavioral and socioemotional problems, physical health problems and developmental delays."
Education is a key factor in students working out of the poverty cycle. It is the goal of Bright Futures Carthage to provide the best possible opportunity for students to focus on learning and improve the chances that the cycle of poverty will be ended. Through relationships with community members, businesses, other agencies, and faith-based partners Bright Futures is able to provide a weekend food pack for over 200 students on a weekly basis; assist with eye exams and glasses; fill in gaps in needs for shoes, clothing and hygiene products; provied school supplies for over 300 students; and work to resource other needs that come about.