LIFE Initiative


L.I.F.E. (Leading & Inspiring Families to Excel) is a United Way of SEMO initiative to strengthen family and community engagement in educating our youth (K-12) by promoting strong partnerships between family, school, and community. Our work and goal is to strengthen family, school, and community to prepare students for careers, college, and lifelong learning. Meeting these expectations at the local level is a shared responsibility of families, schools, and community by establishing sustaining relationships and connections for the success of all students.

Did you know?

· Student engagement in school is heavily influenced by the family’s support of learning and family members’ connection with the student. Research shows that when families are not engaged in supporting learning and/or are not connected with their children, students are more likely to disengage with school. It is important to note that the degree of parental engagement is often related to the family’s financial resources.

· Only 20% of a student’s waking hours are spent in school, so out-of-school-time learning is a key part of the success equation; connection to existing resources is a critical strategy to maximize resources currently in use.

· Engaging parents and caregivers as true, active partners in their children’s education are critical to the success of the student.

· Nine in ten parents surveyed (90%) agree that there should be “some type of organized activity or place for children and teens to go after school every day that provides opportunities to learn” (Afterschool Alliance, America After 3PM, 2009).

      Current outcomes for the LIFE Initiative:

  • 363 students in Cape and Jackson are attending quality after-school-programs.
  • 698 students and family members have attended family enrichment activities.
  • Parent liaisons are in place at the Cape Jr. and Senior High schools.
  • Total of 4,410 volunteer hours given to the LIFE program by community members in 2009-10.

Special Additional Outcomes:

  • 87% (252 students) all had grade averages of C or higher, 13% (40 students) had a D average, with no F’s for any students.
  • Students in grades 1-3 (97 students)—43% (42 students) were reading above grade level expectations; 44% (43 students) were reading at grade level expectations; and 12% (12 students) were reading below grade level at a satisfactory expectation level.