The Stats

The Sun Sentinel has always believed in the importance of giving back to the communities we serve and as we re-launched the Sun Sentinel Children’s Fund Inc, we looked at the issues plaguing our community and evaluated where the Sun Sentinel could leverage its reach and capacity to inform, to help elevate a large population of people struggling in our community.

Working with partners in the field, the following statistics stood out and thus we incorporated into our new mission.

  • In 2016-2017, only 57.5% of Broward Students and 54.1% of Palm Beach students are on or above grade level. Reading on or above grade level in Third Grade is considered an important indicator of high school graduation and economic achievement in adulthood.
  • Reading scores among 8th graders are declining in both counties with more than 40% falling below grade level impacting their ability to go to college and get better jobs.
Removing Barriers for Employment:
  • 575,468 or 32% of the population in Broward that are 5 years and over who “Speak English less than very well”
  • 350,060 or 25.6% of the population in Palm Beach County that are 5 years and over who “Speak English less than very well”
Poverty Rate:
  • More than 437,000 in South Florida live below the poverty level (Florida Chamber of Commerce)
  • More than 60% of the children in public schools rely on Free and Reduced lunch programs to stay nourished (Florida Chamber of Commerce)
  • Poverty Rate Breakdown (Children’s Services Council):
    • Broward County
      • Children under age 18 = 18.3%
      • Age 18 to 64 = 11.8%
      • Age 60 and over = 13.4%
    • Palm Beach County
      • Children under age 18 = 19.1%
      • Age 18 to 64 = 11.8%
      • Age 60 and over = 9.2%

Through the generous support and donations of our readers, we plan on supporting nonprofits with proven track records of programs addressing these issues and awarding them with grants of funding and digital subscriptions, and by providing in-kind services.

Sources provided by the Children’s Services Council of Broward and Palm Beach Counties and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Sun Sentinel Children’s Fund Inc.
Kelly Alvarez Vitale, Administrator
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