In an effort to improve quality of life for current and future generations of Texas Panhandle residents, Amarillo Area Foundation is using a data-informed approach to address early childhood literacy (with a 2-generation approach) and college enrollment/workforce alignment.
Below is a summary of some of the data that assisted in identifying these needs and that will be used to inform what strategies we deploy in addressing them.
The Texas Panhandle is home to nearly 82,000 public schools, K-12 students. These students attend public schools in 61 different school districts across 26 counties, making the Texas Panhandle a diverse and vibrant place for education.
Like our school districts, the Texas Panhandle is home to a diverse student population. The majority of students in the area are considered students of color.
|Black||Asian||Hispanic||Two or More Races||White|
|% of Student Population||5.2%||2.6%||48.4%||2.3%||40.9%|
|# of Students||2,170||4,263||39,631||1,899||33,535|
Approximately 58% of students in the Texas Panhandle are considered economically disadvantaged.
AAF is committed to supporting education in the region and is focused on early literacy and ensuring more students are accessing and enrolling in higher education after high school. Literacy is a foundational skill necessary for success later in life. Literacy is important for students as they progress through school, and is also foundational to a student’s future and career, including living a healthy and vibrant life. As a strategic focus for the Amarillo Area Foundation, we are committed to helping improve literacy rates in the region alongside nonprofits, partners, and school districts. Only 43% of third-grade students in the Texas Panhandle are reading on grade level which lags the State of Texas’ rate of 45%. We see an opportunity to improve literacy in the region towards supporting better education outcomes for students.
3rd-Grade Reading/ELA, Meets Grade Level
Region 16 vs. State of Texas
State of Texas
3rd Grade Literacy
Literacy proficiency looks different across student populations in the Texas Panhandle. As the demographics of the region change, AAF is committed to investing in all students to ensure a strong future and workforce for the Texas Panhandle.
To ensure a robust economy and future workforce, its important to ensure more of our students are accessing the necessary education and training after high school to transition into jobs and careers that provide a living and family sustaining wage. To build on existing legacy programs at the Amarillo Area Foundation such as ACE, THRIVE, and our Scholarships program, we are invested in creating supports so that more Texas Panhandle students have the opportunity to enroll in higher education.
The greatest likelihood of a student enrolling in college is immediately after high school and the likelihood of a student enrolling in college diminishes each year after that. As an organization, we’re focused on increasing the area’s immediate college enrollment rate and ensuring Texas Panhandle high school seniors have the support necessary to access and enroll in post-secondary education.