Kids and Families

Our communities become great places to build a family, raise and educate our children, and establish roots.

What it’s all about

Jasper and Newton counties could be the perfect option when young professionals are looking for a place to lay down roots and start a family. There is plenty of support for new parents with a robust and accessible childcare system that has spots available for every single kid. We see a community where education thrives. Parents have their choice of 4-star public schools that, due to the rapid growth of the community, have attracted several talented teachers from across the nation. They also have some non-traditional options. Parents could perhaps send their kids to a potential microschool that is funded through a new initiative at Purdue, teaches the principles of agritech innovation, and then sets students up to start their own businesses. Jasper and Newton counties are primed and ready for innovation and to become an exemplary educational community.

Kids and Families by the numbers

1
pre-k slots per 100 children
10 %
Graduation rate
10 %
People with a high school diploma
1 %
people with a college degree
1 %
People with reliable internet

1. Early Education Access

More children have access to quality, affordable early childhood education.

In order for our community to prosper and our people to thrive, we must lay out an infrastructure that ensures that such thriving can happen and dismantles those systemic obstacles in our path. No obstacle is greater than that of early education, which predicts success in the long term for both the student and the parent.

With quality early childhood education in place, our kids can see educational parity, our schools can reduce the burden placed on them by early achievement gaps, and our families can thrive economically by finding adequate solutions to allow for a dual-income household. Creating access to early education is akin to creating access to long term wealth, academic achievement, and an improved community economic system.

2. Improve Technology Infrastructure

Enhance the community’s technology infrastructure.

Rural life is not without its challenges. None is more acute today than a technological infrastructure that lags well behind that of our more population-dense neighbors and peers. Our counties rank among the lowest 10% in all of Indiana for connectivity, and that number only worsens when connectivity is measured by a more realistic internet bandwidth requirement.

Improving this infrastructure is definitely not an easy task, but it isn’t the same challenge it was just a few years ago. As technology advances, we see that wireless connectivity can and will compete with wired, and our need for investment in infrastructure is significantly declining as technology improves.

With the technological infrastructure in place, we resolve many challenges beset upon our community, ranging from healthcare to mental health to education to joblessness. Just a handful of improvements can resolve a host of problems.

3. Sense of Connection

Residents feel connected to their town and to one another.

As our community has evolved over time, so too the way we create community. Local church events and front-porch conversations aren’t gone, but they don’t drive our community as much as they did in the past. Participation in civic groups and organizations is lower than it has been historically. It’s time we reinvest our community in our community.

We’ll focus on building on-ramps to community participation, encouraging civic-mindedness, and making more transparent and regular communications about the goings-on here in Jasper and Newton counties.

With a real focus on communication and coordination, we will tighten the knit of the fabric of these communities and rebuild a sense of home.

4. Active Lifestyle Education

Residents have an increased understanding of physical health and the opportunity to engage in physical activity.

Ensure that all community members have equal access to programs and activities for active living.

5. Healthcare Options

Residents have access to quality, affordable healthcare options.

We must create a diverse set of healthcare options available to all residents in our communities.

6. Diverse Educational Pathways

Create a landscape of diverse educational pathways for students.

We need to partner with curricula providers to create educational pathways for kids of all interests and abilities.

7. Community Centers

Residents have a gathering and recreation facility for community needs and after-school activities.

We’ll build a series of facilities for our active families.

8. Mental Health Education and Opportunity

Residents have an increased understanding of mental wellness and the opportunity to engage in therapeutic activity.

We invest in mental health education in and outside of local schools and educational organizations.

9. Quality Education

Students have access to higher quality education.

We commit ourselves to improving the diversity and quality of our educational programs.

10. Educate for Jobs

Student education is aligned with the needs of the local employment market.

We need to band together with local businesses and nonprofits to offer a bridge from education to local job markets.

11. Develop Culture

Residents enjoy a rich landscape of cultural events and experiences.

We must work with local communities to develop events based around vibrant local cultures.

12. Diverse Food & Grocery

Residents have diverse food and grocery options available.

Dollar stores cannot provide everything. We must commit to a diverse offering of groceries and food.

13. Diverse Educational Program

Area students have access to broad and diverse educational curricula.

We need to partner with providers to diversify educational programs.

14. Non-Traditional Support

Non-traditional families have the support needed to be successful in the community.

 

15. Single-Parent Support

Single-parent families have the support needed to be successful in the community.

Projects

Bring an Entrepreneurship Program to Local High Schools

The Description

Apart from technical skills, there are soft skills and business knowledge that are required to start a business. We will bring an entrepreneurship program to each of the local high schools. There are plenty of partners that can help with administration and curricula. One that we have worked with in the past is Youth Entrepreneurs. They help train educators to administer their semester-long experiential-learning based entrepreneurship course. Students get the opportunity to learn skills that will help them in the real world and even get the chance to create and operate their own small business.

The Rational

Entrepreneurial education is necessary to help prepare our students to be ready to start their own agritech business or operate their own farms post-graduation.

The outcomes

We will track how many students enter and complete the program. We will also look at how many graduates of the program start businesses and how many stay in Jasper and Newton counties.

Children

Education

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