ATLANTA, Aug. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- An important step in a child's "cradle-to-college" education journey, early childhood education, received significant support as the Cox Pre-K Program at Charles R. Drew Charter School, supported by The James M. Cox Foundation, was dedicated.
"Before founding our company and serving as Governor of Ohio, James M. Cox was a teacher and always valued the importance of education," said Jim Kennedy, Cox Enterprises' Chairman. "Today, it is vital that we give our children the opportunity to learn. Early childhood education is a great way to put children on the pathway to success. The James M. Cox Foundation is proud to support the Pre-K Program at the Charles R. Drew Charter School."
The James M. Cox Foundation has committed $2.5 million over the next five years to support Pre-K education at Drew Charter School. Currently, 66 students participate in what is now known as the Cox Pre-K Program. The program first opened in 2007 with just 20 students. Each Pre-K classroom is staffed with three highly-qualified teachers, assuring a low student-to-teacher ratio. The instructional and teacher professional development models were built in collaboration with the Rollins Center for Language & Learning at the Atlanta Speech School and have resulted in impressive academic gains for these young students, who enter kindergarten ready to learn and are on a path to read-to-learn by third grade.
Since its founding in 2000, Drew Charter School's "cradle-to-college" approach to education, including a longer school day and year, has helped the school move from last place (69 of 69 elementary schools) in the Atlanta Public Schools system to a fourth place ranking. Currently, 91% of all Drew students in third through eighth grade meet or exceed state standards in every subject.
Recognized nationally and replicated in more than 20 other Pre-K sites around Georgia through the Bright from the Start program and the YMCA, the Cox Pre-K Program at Drew is offered to all families at no cost, regardless of income.
A strong supporter of early childhood education, the James M. Cox Foundation previously announced a $1.75 million gift to Teach For America to fund their Cox Pre-K Program in Metro Atlanta.
About The James M. Cox Foundation (www.CoxFoundation.com):
The James M. Cox Foundation provides funding for capital campaigns and special projects in communities where Cox Enterprises Inc. does business. The Foundation is concentrating its community support in several priority areas: Conservation and Environment; Early Childhood Education; Empowering Families and Individuals for Success; and Health.
About Charles R. Drew Charter School (www.drewcharterschool.org):
Since opening in August 2000 as the city of Atlanta's first public charter school, Drew Charter School has proven its innovative approach to education works. Drew's commitment to academic achievement, character development and enrichment opportunities helps all students reach their highest potential. Drew serves about 1,000 students, Pre-K through eighth grade. A Drew education is one that supports strong intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth. Standardized test results show that the longer students stay at Drew, the better they perform. Drew Charter School is the centerpiece of a mixed-income community that includes a public golf course offering golf instruction and mentoring for youth, a YMCA, a child development center and extensive programs that help children and their families succeed.
About Cox Enterprises (www.CoxEnterprises.com):
Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company. With revenues of nearly $15 billion and more than 50,000 employees, the company's major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications, Inc. (cable television distribution, telephone, high-speed Internet access, commercial telecommunications and advertising solutions); Manheim, Inc. (vehicle auctions, repair and certification services and web-based technology products);AutoTrader.com (online automotive advertising and Kelley Blue Book, vAuto, HomeNet Automotive and Vin Solutions subsidiaries); and Cox Media Group, Inc. (television and radio stations, digital media, newspapers, advertising sales rep firms, Valpak and Cox Digital Solutions). Additionally, Cox operates Kudzu.com.
SOURCE The James M. Cox Foundation