KWSO News for Mon., Jan. 29, 2018

While Oregon’s high school graduation rate has improved, minority students – especially Native Americans – still lag behind their white classmates. New data shows 77 percent of Oregon students earned a diploma in four years…nearly 10 points more than the class of 2012. But with the exception of Asians, minority students all trail whites. The Native American graduation rate is lowest, at 59 percent. Yet it’s still up nearly 6 percentage points from four years ago. April Campbell is Indian Education Advisor with the state Department of Education. The Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde member says native students struggle with racism, historical trauma, and poverty. But officials have taken initiative to improve attendance. Campbell says the passage of Senate Bill 13 will also help “2 million dollars was set aside to develop 4th, 8th, and 10th grade American Indian curriculum. Students need to see themselves in the curriculum and in the classroom. Shifting what we’ve heard a lot from our families not being seen.” Oregon’s graduation rate is still below the national average of 84 percent.

The Movin’ Mountains Slim Down Challenge is under way with the biggest participation numbers in 5 years. Carolyn Harvey is the Community Health Educator at the Jefferson County Health Department. She says the 16 week health & fitness challenge has
325 Entrants this year. They are hoping for better health and vying for cash prizes. This week’s participant health tip is about having structured eating plans to help with weight loss. Eating plans, when followed exactly, eliminate many temptations and decisions regarding food choices.

The Warm Springs Community Action Team AARP Tax Aid Site will begin their free tax preparation service this Thursday. Appointments will be each Tuesday and Thursday thru tax season from 9am – 4pm. The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, celebrates their 50th year. It is the nation’s largest free tax assistance and preparation service. Since its inception, the program has served more than 50 million taxpayers.