Selma City Schools, Rotary on the right track

Published 6:35 pm Monday, August 27, 2018

The partnership announced Monday between Selma Rotary Club and Selma City Schools is the beginning of the change that the youth in Selma and Dallas County need.

The partnership provides services such as Youth Serve and Shadow, which will allow students to shadow possible careers they could be interested in.

Other things such as the scholarship competition and the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards will allow students to work harder to obtain scholarship funds and learn leadership skills.

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This partnership is also the first steps to fighting poverty that students experience.

Rotary Club President Jerria Martin said that out of the 3,060 students enrolled in Dallas County Schools during the 2016-2017 school year, 76 percent of the students are black or African-American.

“Poverty is prevalent among these students,” she wrote in a press release adding that 86.1 percent of students are eligible for free and reduced lunches compared to 59.2 percent of students in Alabama.

According to Martin, from 2009-2013, 35.5 percent of people in Dallas County were living in poverty.

In breaking down that statistic by race, the number jumps to 44.9 percent for African-Americans. Out of the 67 counties in the state of Alabama, Dallas County is the 65th worst county for people living in poverty.

Martin also said 57.2 percent of children live in poverty or 66.3 percent for African-Americans.

Dallas County is ranked 67th out of 67 counties for this statistic, according to Martin.

She said 6.8 percent of students in the 2013-2014 school year were homeless compared to 3.2 percent in the state, according to the 2015 Kids Count Data Book.

“Consequences of poverty in Dallas County include the high crime and violence rate and low neighborhood attachment,” said Martin.