TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 16, 2021)– The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Gap Map now takes America’s first detailed look at childhood poverty by zip code and helps business leaders better understand where the challenges lie within age groups with the tool’s newest enhancement, adding poverty rates and numbers by zip code for Florida’s under 12-year-old population. Florida has 983 zip codes and over half of Florida’s 829,342 children in poverty live in only 15% of Florida’s zip codes. By adding under 12, leaders will have better understanding of where to focus solutions.
“Equity gaps exist in Florida and Florida’s global competitiveness depends on a world-class education system,” said Florida Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Mark Wilson. “With continuous advancements to this first-in-the-nation interactive tool, the Florida Gap Map provides a more detailed view of where we can track childhood poverty and educational gaps, and additionally a more detailed view of where the Florida Chamber Foundation, its partners and the Florida business community can unite to implement solutions.”
For the business community, a commitment to this education system must begin early. Two of the 39 Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida 2030 Blueprint goals include cutting childhood poverty in half and ensuring 100 percent of third graders are reading at or above grade level by 2030 through its Florida Equality of Opportunity Initiative’s Florida Prosperity Project and Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project.
In September 2020, the Florida Chamber Foundation unveiled the nation’s first zip code level interactive tool, the Florida Gap Map, which helps parents, business leaders and policy makers visualize Florida’s equity gaps in poverty and education with the goal to unite the Florida business, county and policy leaders around these inequities to create equal opportunities at earned success for all Florida children regardless of zip code, race, gender or any other factor.
To discover the greatest areas of need in your community and to learn how you can help, visit www.TheFloridaGapMap.org and contact the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Equality of Opportunity leader Kyle Baltuch at KBaltuch@FLFoundation.org.