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Portland Unveils Initiative Aimed at Boosting College Access
02/25/2013 12:32 AM ET  

The program, known as Portland Connect-ED, is aimed at boosting early learning rates, high school graduation numbers and improving access to college education.

Portland city officials, educators and members of the local business community joined this morning to unveil an initiative designed to help all the city's youth get the most of their education.

The program - known as Portland Connect-ED is aimed at boosting early learning rates, high school graduation numbers and improving access to college education.

"This is one of the most significant and far-reaching educational partnerships in the history of the CIty of Portland, said Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, at a news conference.

The initiative is being kickstarted with a $75,000 grant from the John T. Gorman Foundation.  It aims to achieve grade level reading proficiency by third grade, and to increase high school graduation rates from about 80 percent - where they are now - to the state goal of 90 percent or beyond by 2016.

Portland ConnectED also aims to raise between $2 million and $5 million by the end of the year to help financially-disadvantaged high school graduates pursue a college education.

This story was reported and written by Tom Porter.

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