Poverty linked to student performance in Ohio; Project ACT helps homeless Cleveland children succeed

CLEVELAND - A new report out Monday confirms the link between poverty and student performance.

Analysts found that the Performance Index scores on the most recent Ohio school district report cards were higher in suburban school districts that also have the highest average incomes and lowest poverty rates.

"The research has always indicated that children who are living in poverty, especially homeless children, are usually two or three years behind their peers that have stable environments," said Marcia Zashin, PhD.

Zashin is director of Project ACT, Action for Children and Youth in Transition, which served 3,656 homeless Cleveland Metropolitan School District students last year. The program provides the children with whatever they need to succeed from clothing and food to school supplies.

There are also life skills coaches in school buildings with high numbers of homeless students to work with them one-on-one to build self-esteem and academic success.

Zashin said parent involvement is key.

"We are finding that by working with the child's teacher and working with the child's parent, we are seeing that our children are succeeding and doing much better academically," she said.

Of 93 high school seniors in the Project ACT program last year, 76 graduated and 63 went on to some form of higher education.  Two received full scholarships to college.

As of Monday, there were 2,106 homeless students in Cleveland.

Email: info@projectact.com or call 216-592-7405 to find out how you can help these students succeed.

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