Uniting our time, talent, and treasure to build relationships and 

create pathways for success for students.

 Bright Futures Joplin | http://brightfuturesjoplin.org
MAY 2014
Coordinator's Report: Graduation Rates Improve

May is always an exciting month around Joplin Schools, and this May was no exception.  From end of year festivities, retirements of beloved staff members, and the culmination of it all at the JHS graduation ceremony, there was no shortage of fun to be had.

You may remember when Bright Futures Joplin began, the goal was to help improve the graduation rate, something the district had struggled with for decades.  BF Joplin was born in 2010.  In 1996, the graduation rate was sitting at a whopping 54%. In 2000, it had raised to 74.6%. In 2012, we saw another increase up to 78.5%, but then in 2013 there was a staggering rise up to 86.6%. This May, we graduated 431 students on time. This number will rise as a handful of other students finish school this summer, at which time we'll have a final graduation percentage.  This is an incredibly resilient class, having attended three different schools post-tornado.  We are so proud of them!
Bright Futures cannot and will not claim all of this progress as a direct result of our work, but we know that together with the relentless efforts of a dedicated team of educators, we are continuing to see the graduation rate rise.  Together is how it happens best!
Thank you to the community of Joplin - our partners make a difference in the lives of our kids!
Bright Futures Council News

We have the best partners ever!   

Some adorable West Central Elementary kiddos, along with their principal Mr. Ingle, smiled for the camera after a special event honoring them for their achievements in the area of reading. 


In order to encourage reading among the West Central kids, local Kiwanis members teamed up with our friends at the Joplin Home Depot store to build bookshelves to award to each of these awesome kids.  The students also received a case of age-appropriate books. The children were honored in front of the entire school and their parents. Joplin - thanks for loving our kids! 

A Special Thanks
After serving the kiddos of Joplin Schools for 35 years, Darla Armstrong is retiring. Darla worked as a teacher for 30 years and returned to the district as a volunteer and later part-time team member with Bright Futures Joplin.  She is the founder of the Bright Futures Joplin Donation Center - which started as an enormous pile after the tornado.  Darla performed nothing short of a miracle by turning that mess into what is now the most organized donation center space you could imagine. Anyone could walk in and find anything they were looking for now. Because of her work, we are able to meet emergency student needs - in most cases within 24 hours.

Before                            After 
Volunteers at the Distribution Center

In honor of her work, The BF Joplin Advisory Board named the Donation Center "Darla's Room." A sign now hangs outside of this hub of activity forever commemorating the legacy she began.

Darla - THANK YOU!  You are a gem and have blessed this work in ways that could never be adequately expressed! 
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In This Issue
Upcoming Events: Bright Futures USA Triple Crown Race
Bright Futures Joplin and Bright Futures USA are teaming up for a Triple Crown Race Series. Joplin will host the final leg of the race on July 26th - a 15K!  There will also be a 5K for those not quite ready for the 15K challenge.  So get out your running shoes, and get ready. You can learn more and sign up here.
How You Can Help
With the impending BIG MOVE coming this August into our new high school, we are starting NOW to schedule the massive amount of volunteers that will be needed to make this move possible.

We will need two shifts of 50 people per day for 10 days to make the move happen. Move dates are August 11-22.
For more information, email or call (417) 625-5200 ext. 2339. 
Did You Know That...
  • BF Joplin only has two full-time staff members that are paid out of funds donated by the community.  No Joplin Schools' resources support these salaries.
  • That 505 student needs requests have been filled this school year (to date), meeting emergency material needs for kids.
  • In addition to meeting the emergency needs of kids, BF Joplin does a host of other things together with our schools and community volunteers such as:
    • Trek/PALS/BFF mentoring programs
    • Community engagement via site councils at 17 school buildings
    • Bright Futures Leadership Academy
    • Volunteer Appreciation
    • Operation College Bound 
    • Transitions programs - Link Crew & WEB
    • All Pro Dads
    • Reading Matters Initiative
    • Snack Packs
    • Development
  • The BF Joplin Advisory Board is made up of a team of volunteers from the community. This board meets monthly and is tasked with fulfilling the mission and vision of the organization. They decide how funds are spent. Advisory Board members are:
    • Peggy Fuller (SMB), chair
    • Shawn McGrew (Freeman), co-chair
    • Jay St.Clair (College Heights Christian Church)
    • Pam Roychaudhury (Legal Aide)
    • Cary Beasley (Joplin Chamber)
    • Christie Barnhart (MO American Water)
    • Debbie Markman (Economic Security)
    • Kristen Devore (Children's Haven)
    • Nancy Good (WACO Title)
    • Mike Woolston (Former Mayor, Pro 100) 
    • Dot Willcoxon
    • Sara Newman
417-625-5200 ext. 2229| melissawinston@joplinschools.org
3901 E 32nd St
Joplin, MO 64804

Bright Futures Joplin | May 2014

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