By Nicole Lemal
Times West Virginian
Through a Dropout Prevention Grant that was provided to North Marion High School earlier this year, feeder middle schools in the North Marion attendance area now have access to resources that could keep them more engaged in school and more focused on a potential career path.
Areas where many students qualify for free or reduced lunch can make it challenging to prevent students from dropping out of school, said Vikki Toothman, Mannington Middle School teacher. Several Marion County schools reported more than 60 percent of their students were on free or reduced lunch in 2011. Without their high school education, they will struggle to find employment later on in life, Toothman added.
“Graduating is not just getting a piece of paper that says you successfully completed high school,” Toothman said. “It is essential for your future. Students have a hard time thinking and planning for the future. They need to realize that to some extent they are in charge of their future now by getting the best education they can.”