New program launched to help fight poverty and increase graduati - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

New program launched to help fight poverty and increase graduation rates in Madison

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MADISON (WKOW) – A new program is being launched in Madison to fight poverty and get more African-American boys to graduate high school.

The 100 Black Men of Madison are joining other community groups to create “Project SOAR,” which stands for Student Opportunities, Access, and Readiness.

Officials will work with middle and high school-aged boys in the Madison Metropolitan School District through mentoring and academy programs to give them a positive outlook and a support network while in school.

“This represents for us a profound opportunity to be cast in a different light and to help our youth realize their potentials on a one-to-one setting,” said Madison Police Chief Mike Koval.

“Research shows that all students need to have at least one supportive adult in their lives to succeed,” said Madison Schools superintendent Jennifer Cheatham. “And that's not just someone who loves and cares about them but someone who holds them to high expectations who can serve as their mentor.”

Officials say their goal is to lower truancy rates while raising graduation rates by 5% over three years.  

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