SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Prosper Springfield is a community initiative aimed at increasing post-secondary attainment and reducing poverty in the Springfield area.
The initiative received a $25,000 donation from Simmons Bank to help its efforts. The bank also committed to providing financial literacy classes to the Springfield community via Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ (CPO’s) Making Sense of Money program.
Jenifer Abreu talked to Francine Pratt, the director of Prosper Springfield about the initiative and what it has accomplished in the last two years.
Prosper Springfield started in 2015 out of the work of Springfield’s Impacting Poverty Commission.
According to a press release by the Community Partnership of the Ozarks, in 2015, Springfield’s poverty rate was 25.7 percent and Greene County’s was 19 percent.
In the most recent data available, the 2017 U. S. Census Bureau (American Community Survey Five-Year estimates), the city’s poverty level was 25.7 percent and the county was at 16.2 percent.
The commission’s 2015 Call to Action Report included two goals for the community to achieve by 2025:
– increase post-secondary attainment (additional education beyond high school) to 60 percent and
– reduce poverty by five percentage points.