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ROC the Future annual report: some gains, but challenges remain

The Rochester community is seeing improvements in the annual report card that tracks key measures for children in the city, but there are still challenges. That’s the gist of the annual report card from ROC the Future,which is a public private partnership consisting of government and community organizations.

Larry Marx is CEO of the group called The Children’s Agenda, and he says this report card shows that the number of four year olds enrolled in Pre-K and Head Start has grown to nearly 97 percent.

“Particularly for Pre-K, three and four year olds...that’s not babysitting, it’s a very important part of early education and care that kids are attending Pre-K more often."

Jackie Campbell is Director of ROC the Future. She hopes that more people throughout the Rochester area get involved in this effort.

“I do believe that we are moving in the right direction, and there is, I believe, a palpable connectedness in the community and alignment around this, so I’m feeling hopeful moving forward.”

Campbell sees an increased focus on literacy in the city school district, with the hiring of nearly three dozen reading teachers.

“We’ve addressed some of the challenges there and actually championed last year, a new curriculum that the district has committed to developing, one that’s more culturally appropriate and developmentally appropriate and so we’ve had some good results there,” Campbell told WXXI News.

Both Campbell and Marx say more volunteers are needed to help with improving attendance in school and assisting students and families apply for financial aid for college.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.