Go Virginia (GoVA) is an initiative led by business leaders in Virginia that has identified specific barriers to economic development, region by region. Mecklenburg County is a part of region 3, along with the other southern VA rural counties that have suffered significant economic downturn for several decades. One example of our economic challenges is that average household income in our region is less than $35,000. per year while the average annual household income for Virginia is near $55,000. GoVA's goal for Region 3 is to identify the specific issues that create this problem and work together as business and education leaders with state government to overcome the barriers.
An editorial was published in the Roanoke Times that gives a very good introduction to GoVA. It can be found at http://www.roanoke.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-frank-assessments/article_0f915eed-e971-5155-bb50-7ef6d91a0284.html You will notice that Southside (Region 3) issues are prominently identified as examples. It is worth the time to read.
Mecklenburg County Public Schools actively partners with GoVA in identifying the problems related to education and is making changes in our system to give students the foundation for success. This education reform focuses appropriately on career literacy, skill and credential development, advanced academics, and community interaction; the four pillars of "portrait of a graduate."
An education in computer coding / computer science is one example of the type of change required in K12 schools identified in the GoVA initiative. MCPS was very fortunate to have Senator Warner introduce the partnership we have secured with CodeVA, Microsoft, and the Tobacco Commission to support this initiative. See Senator Warner's address at Clarksville Elementary School on the YouTube video below. Many thanks to the businesses, civic groups, churches, and local government officials that are partnering with MCPS to make this effort a success for our children
The video is available at https://youtu.be/dHJFcAiJrMs