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September 2016 is Attendance Awareness Month, the fourth annual national campaign centered on raising awareness of the importance of school attendance, and its role in promoting positive youth development, academic achievement, and future success in life. This campaign is an exciting opportunity for everyone–community members, parents, schools, non-profit organizations, businesses, and politicians alike–to highlight the important roles that we all play in supporting youth in our communities.
School attendance is one of many factors in whether or not a youth ends up on a successful path, but it is a crucial one, and one that we can work together to address. Excused and unexcused absences result in lost classroom time, and chronic absence—missing 10 percent of the school year or more—affects the whole classroom, not just the students who miss school. Reducing chronic absence can also help close achievement gaps. By sharing and monitoring attendance information, we can intervene early and help keep students engaged in school.
The campaign is spearheaded by Attendance Works, a national and state initiative that promotes better policy and practice around school attendance. Other campaign organizers include America’s Promise Alliance, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Points of Light and United Way Worldwide and it is also supported by a growing list of other organizations including our national partners at MENTOR (The National Mentoring Partnership), the Afterschool Alliance, Big Brothers Big Sisters, City Year, The Council for a Strong America, No Kid Hungry, FamilyWize and a diverse range of other organizations.
How Can Mentoring Help?
As referenced in the campaign messaging, “relationship building is fundamental to any strategy for improving student attendance.” And according to results from the Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey, around half of middle and high school students do not “feel like they matter to adults in their community.” There is a plethora of research (view our Benefits of Mentoring page) that demonstrates the positive effects of mentoring, including improved self-esteem, higher aspirations, and better relationships with peers, family members, and other adults.
- 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school
- 37% less likely than their peers to skip a class
- 55% more likely to enroll in college
Mentoring programs play a key role, along with other people and organizations who regularly interact with these youth (parents, educators, counselors, after school programs and other youth development agencies), in keeping students in school, and actively engaged in the classroom.
We hope you will join us on social media in sharing the campaign! Our national partners at MENTOR have worked with the campaign organizers to designate the week of September 19, 2016, as Mentoring In Real Life & Attendance Week! MENTOR has developed an online engagement toolkit with mentoring-specific social media messages and graphics to help amplify the message that quality mentoring can be instrumental to attendance and academic success. Download this resource and join the conversation!
You Can Help By…
- Joining the “Attendance & Mentoring Effect” Twitter chat on Wednesday, September 21!
(Mark your calendars for 3 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. PT!)
- Changing Your Facebook and Twitter profile pictures to this campaign badge and using this Facebook cover photo to spread the word
- Sharing images, quotes, and statistics about the importance of school attendance
- Asking your friends, family, and colleagues to join the campaign too
Where Can I Find Resources To Share?
- Follow Mobius on Facebook and Twitter for updates and ideas
- Download MENTOR’s full toolkit HERE to learn how mentoring helps improve attendance
- Follow the Attendance Awareness campaign website and social media pages:
Be sure to include the hashtag #SchoolEveryDay in all of your posts to make sure they are a part of the larger campaign! For any posts connected to mentoring, use the #MentorIRL hashtag.