GREENSBORO, NC (April 24, 2019) – A new report released today by the Public School Forum of North Carolina and its NC Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) highlights large areas of North Carolina where young people are at risk of not succeeding. The report, Roadmap of Need 2019, was released today at the Center for Afterschool Programs 15th annual Synergy Conference in Greensboro.

First published by the Public School Forum of North Carolina and NC CAP in 2010, the Roadmap of Need uses data on health, youth behavior and safety, education, and economic development to take a whole child needs assessment of what young people living in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties must have in order to thrive in school and in life.

According to the report, the five top counties where young people have the greatest likelihood for success are Orange, Wake, Union, Henderson and Moore. The bottom five counties where young people are most at risk are Northampton, Vance, Robeson, Edgecombe, and Washington. The makeup of the top five this year sees Henderson and Moore counties displacing Cabarrus and Dare; while Anson, Halifax and Warren counties moved out of the bottom five this year.

“Nearly ten years after first publishing the Roadmap of Need, the fact that our state is now divided into ‘two North Carolinas’ is a reality that we continue to grapple with,” said Keith Poston, president and executive director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. “Our state is one where the zip code in which you live matters too much, leaving so many of our children with access only to underfunded schools, few high quality out-of-school programs and limited options for healthy activities.”

At first glance, the Roadmap points to counties in eastern North Carolina as those most at risk. However, the nature of county-wide indicators often masks the variation occurring within counties, particularly our most populous urban counties where neighborhoods that alone would be viewed as thriving on the Roadmap indicators exist in close proximity to neighborhoods with many young people in need.

Over the past several years, the Roadmap has been a key resource for afterschool providers and other education organizations when communicating with policymakers, funders, and citizens about the importance of their services, and to target areas for increased investment. School administrators, central office staff, nonprofits, community leaders, and parent advocates also use the Roadmap to demonstrate to others the needs faced by their communities. Public education advocates have brought Roadmap data to the attention of school board members, county commissioners, and members of the General Assembly in order to inform their efforts to create state and local policies that address significant community needs.

A copy of the report can be downloaded at:

About the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP)

The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs is a statewide after-school and expanded learning network dedicated to increasing access to high quality after-school and expanded learning programs for all children and youth in North Carolina, helping them to succeed in and out of school. Our work includes research and best practices in the afterschool and expanded learning environment; convening key stakeholders (national, state, and local); advocating for policies to support afterschool and expanded learning; and professional development and technical support for afterschool programs.

Follow us on Twitter @ncafterschool and visit our website at Synergy is the only statewide conference bringing together providers of out-of-school time programs, along with education and community stakeholders.

About the Public School Forum of North Carolina

Since 1986, the Public School Forum of North Carolina has been an indispensable and nonpartisan champion of better schools and the most trusted source in the state for research and analysis on vital education issues. We bring together leaders from business, education and government to study education issues, develop ideas, seek consensus, and ultimately inform and shape education policy. We do that through research, policy work, innovative programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers. Follow us on Twitter @theNCForum and visit our website at



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