The K-14 Initiative
Davidson County has lived the past century as a child of the Industrial Revolution, an economy driven by basic manufacturing where an individual could drop out of school, develop a skill in manufacturing, and provide for themselves and their family. Education for most was neither a priority nor a necessity. But times have changed and those days are no more as our world has evolved into a global, knowledge based economy. Fourteen years of school, two years of post secondary education, have become a necessity in this modern economy. For Davidson County where thousands of residents have less than a high school education, this is more than a paradigm shift…this is a change of culture.
K-14 is a countywide initiative sponsored and coordinated by the Business/Education Partnership of Davidson County and Davidson Vision. The initiative is a coalition of the following organizations:
College Foundation of NC
Davidson County Community College
Davidson County Schools
Denton Area Chamber of Commerce
Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce
Lexington City Schools
Northern Davidson Chamber of Commerce
Thomasville City Schools
Thomasville Area Chamber of Commerce
Workforce Development Board
Communities in Schools-Lexington/Davidson Co
Communities in Schools-Thomasville
The specific goals of the K-14 initiative are to (1) reduce the dropout rate and (2) increase the college-attending rate of public school students throughout Davidson County . From a more global perspective, our objective is to improve the quality of life for the people of our county by positioning them to be more productive, higher paid citizens of this county, a county that will become a target for new business and industry, attracted by an educated, capable workforce and an exceptional quality of life. Working to complement the efforts of our three school systems, the purpose of K-14 is to empower every parent and student in Lexington, Thomasville, and Davidson County with the knowledge, belief, tools, resources and support to achieve college success.
The K-14 program is driven by four primary focuses: Awareness, Career/College Counseling, College Financing and Mentoring.
For too many generations, education has not been a priority for families throughout Davidson county. The purpose of this focus is first to educate people on necessity of two years of post high school education, and then to instill the belief that college can be a reality for every child and that there is a community and a system of support to help them achieve this goal. Through a public relations campaign utilizing multiple channels and media, the message of K-14 will reach out to every resident of our county. The message is one of hope and one of challenge. The message simply states that every child can achieve and succeed with the K-14 plan and that there is a community of support in place to help make this dream a reality.
2) Career/College Counseling
Obtaining information on how to apply for college and how to find funding can be a daunting task. The K-14 program will provide career/college counseling resources for all residents of Davidson County , Thomasville and Lexington . Equipped with scholarship search software, college application information, and education funding assistance, the center will offer a program designed to compliment the efforts of the school counselors. The other primary target for the program is the parent. Too many parents cannot perceive the possibility of their child attending college. The program will work with churches, employers, county agencies and other entities to provide the knowledge and the skills necessary for parents and students to choose and enter.
3) College Financing
Two years of education beyond high school presents the perception of a major financial challenge. It often appears far beyond the comprehension of many families. In reality, college can be much more affordable than many may imagine and there are numerous sources and opportunities for funding. The goal of the K-14 program is to provide every eligible young person in Davidson County with the financial assistance to attend those essential two years of college level study. Working with college financial offices, the College Foundation of North Carolina, and locally based scholarships including the Project Potential program, the K-14 program encourages the leveraging of resources to maximize the capabilities of our community. The program is also working to develop an employer-based program for funding scholarships targeting the children of employees. Click here for our online Scholarship Guide
One of the major predictors of educational success for any child is the presence of a caring adult in that child’s life. Too often, the children of our community do not have that positive adult role model to guide and inspire them during these key years of development. Working with the outstanding Communities in Schools programs in Thomasville , Lexington , and Davidson County , the K-14 program seeks to encourage mentoring and recruit mentors through the businesses, civic clubs, and faith community to support this outstanding program. By volunteering just one hour a week to mentor a young person, a volunteer can make a real and positive difference in the life of a child. For that volunteer, mentoring can be one of the most personally rewarding community service projects to be experienced.