The Starke County Youth Club’s after-school programs help bridge the achievement gap for students. Executive director Irene Szakonyi says that’s disparity in performance levels among groups of youngsters. Research indicates children who come from low-income homes don’t perform as well on standardized tests as their more affluent classmates, nor do they get as good of grades. Szakonyi says 60 percent of children served come from low-income homes and start kindergarten behind their peers as a result.
A study by the University of California-Irvine’s School of Education finds that the performance gap disappears if after-school participation is consistent. Szakonyi says the Starke County Youth Club has seen the same thing by keeping tabs on youngsters who get help with homework, individual tutoring and take part in enrichment center activities.
The Starke County Youth Club’s after-school programs are open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade and meet at Knox, North Judson-San Pierre and Oregon-Davis Schools. Tomorrow participants, instructors and board members will take to the WKVI airwaves for the Eighth Annual Starke County Youth Club/WKVI Radiothon. Szakonyi says they hope to raise $50,000 in donations and pledges this year. Visit their website, www.thescyc.org to learn more.