Consider the following questions for a moment,
Why do some children achieve on grade level and others do not?
Why are some high schoolers prepared for college and careers and others are not?
Why is it necessary for some businesses to recruit highly-qualified applicants from areas outside of Sangamon County?
In 2005, local educational and business leaders asked themselves these and more questions about how education and the local economy are tied together. The more they dug into these questions, the more they realized that the answers were interconnected. Educational attainment is linked to grade-level achievement and social-emotional support. Grade-level achievement and social-emotional learning are connected to healthcare, nutrition, executive thinking skills, motor skill development, literacy skills, parental support, and on and on. It wasn’t long before these experts realized that in order to support Springfield’s economy, they had to focus on supporting youth through the entire continuum from cradle to career.