New Study Raises Concerns for Hoosier Kids

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All is quite at the 14th and Chestnut Community Center. 

But once school lets out the halls will fill with eager children ready to learn. 

“It’s a neat feeling to know that we’re able to have a place in their lives,” Bill Felts said. 

The community center provides children of all ages and races a safe place to go after school. 

While there, kids can receive help on their homework, school supplies and more. 

Pastor Bill Felts has been working with the community center for more than 18 years. 

“It’s really paid off,” Felts said. “We’ve been here for nearly 20 years now and we see such a difference in our kids.”

However, new research found that  children from different racial backgrounds are not getting the same opportunities.

Out of the 44 states that participated in the study Indiana ranked 36th. 

Among Hoosier kids, the research shows 78 percent of African-American, and 71 percent of Hispanic and Latino  fourth graders are not proficient in reading. 

It’s a disappointing finding for people who work with children, like Bobby Moore at the Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club. 

“Improvement needs to be made in vigo county and across Indiana as far as getting our youth were they need to be at,” Bobby Moore said. 

Moore hopes the numbers will spur local folks to help and volunteer. 

“I would hope that people get on board,” Moore said. “Hey listen we are 36 out of 44, so more work needs to be done. You know we need to focus our attention toward the youth in our community and make sure they are getting the right resources and the help that they need to prosper.”

This was the first report to measure how children from different racial backgrounds were fairing on the path to opportunity. But it won’t be the groups last. The Casey Foundation will publish a new study every three years to track states progress. 

For the full study click here.

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