Connecting Poverty & Literacy in New Mexico

A recent article in the Albuquerque Journal points to the inextricable link between poverty and literacy, especially here in New Mexico. 

Unfortunately, many of New Mexico’s children live in poverty and struggle with basic reading and writing. This is one of the many reasons that MAS Charter School makes the extra effort when it comes to helping students break the cycle of poverty in their families. MAS students K – 12 get two to four times more literacy instruction than other schools, totaling more than 180 minutes daily. This effort pays off as our students consistently perform well above regional and state literacy proficiency in standardized testing.  

Good nutrition is also critical to academic success. The Journal article on poverty and literacy also reported that 38 percent of New Mexico’s children are not eating enough because food is unaffordable for their families.  We provide 100% of MAS students with nutritious free breakfast and lunch, an afterschool meal if students participate in our afterschool program and an afternoon snack for all students in grades PreK-12. We also partner with the Roadrunner Food Bank to provide healthy foods to families once a month during our mobile food pantry. 

Vital to ending this cycle of poverty is increasing graduation rates in our state and pushing graduates to continue with secondary education opportunities. We embrace a "no excuses, whatever it takes" attitude to ensure that our students not only earn a high school diploma but possess the skills to experience success in college and the competitive world. This supports and drives our 100% graduation success rate.  On average, approximately 50% of our graduating seniors are the first in their family to graduate high school, and approximately 90% will be the first in their family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. All of our graduates commit to continuing their education past high school.

In the last round of testing, MAS students K-12 outperformed schools at the regional and state level for literacy proficiency. New Mexico test scores will be coming out soon, and MAS is looking forward to seeing its students’ achievements again!

literacy proficiency





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