Why does the Spark Education Fund exist?
In 2018, CFNLA set a goal to change the course or interrupt the cycle of poverty for children through education so they may grow up and attain a living wage job by the age 25. The Spark Fund is one of many CFNLA’s initiatives to help achieve this goal.
- Over 30% of Shreveport-Bossier families with children under 5 years of age live in poverty.
- The poverty rate for persons without a bachelor’s degree is over 20% versus only 6% with a degree.
- High educational attainment lowers a person’s risk of poverty.
Children in poverty face many obstacles to achieving academic success. Seeking best practices in removing these barriers, Paula Hickman of CFNLA invited Bill Milliken, the founder of Communities In Schools, to visit Shreveport in 2013. This meeting eventually sparked a partnership between Communities In Schools (CIS), the Volunteers of America North Louisiana (VOA), Caddo Parish Schools and CFNLA. In 2014, the VOA and Caddo Schools launched a CIS pilot in three schools.