D.C. HELPS PARENTS OVERCOME URGENT BARRIERS TO SCHOOL ATTENDANCE WITH NEW, COMPREHENSIVE, CITYWIDE INITIAITVE
Attendance Program, Show Up, Stand Out, Shows Promising Results Connecting Parents to Community Resources; Expands to Reach 4,000 Students
“It’s difficult to know if you can get your child to school the next day, if you don’t know where you’ll be sleeping that night,” says Kimberly, 26, a single mother of two. After surviving homelessness that made it difficult to get her daughter to school every day, hers is just one of the many, extraordinary success stories coming from a new pilot program in D.C. to address truancy.
WHAT: Show Up, Stand Out, an initiative of the Justice Grants Administration (JGA) in partnership with seven community organizations across the city, works one-on-one with parents of elementary school students to overcome the many challenges they face – from domestic violence, to unemployment – in getting their kids to school every day.
The program will officially launch on Sept. 9th at an event where:
- New findings will be released on truancy awareness among D.C. parents, and the impact Show Up, Stand Out has made as a pilot program.
- Parents of elementary students such as Kimberly will share their personal stories of overcoming obstacles to attendance – including illness, homelessness and transportation – with help from Show Up, Stand Out.
- JGA will also unveil a new website and PSA campaign on the importance of attendance, to be seen in metro stations and on buses throughout the district.
WHY: At least one in five D.C. students had more than 10 unexcused absences from school in 2012-13, putting them at academic risk due to missed school days1.
A year-long evaluation of Show Up, Stand Out, revealed its promising impacts on attendance:
- 79% of the students engaged in the program during year one had improved attendance following participation.
- Browne Education Campus alone reduced truancy from 34% of students to just 1%.
Because of these results, Show Up, Stand Out, expanded between pilot years one and two, from 17 schools to 45 schools, and now in year three it will engage charter schools for the first time in an effort to reach more than 4,000 students. The initiative, in addition to assisting parents in getting children to school, seeks to raise awareness citywide of the importance of school attendance for children’s success.