SEPTEMBER 27, 2017
BY: ATTENDANCE WORKS & MENTOR: THE NATIONAL MENTORING PARTNERSHIP
This September marks the fifth annual Attendance Awareness Month campaign. This is an opportunity to rally your community, advocates, policymakers, volunteers, funders and supporters around the importance of attendance and its role in academic achievement! To support the goal of increased interest and engagement in school, the week of September 11, 2017, was deemed Mentoring & Attendance Week. We have released a promotional toolkit with mentoring-specific social media messages, graphics and more to help amplify our message that quality mentoring can be instrumental to attendance and academic success.
On September 14 MENTOR and Attendance Works held a “Mentoring & Attendance Awareness” Twitter chat.
MENTOR’s Director of Knowledge Management, Mike Garringer, and Attendance Works’ Executive Director, Hedy Chang, answered questions and engaged in a dialogue on mentoring’s impact in promoting academic success and encouraging youth to attend school every day.
Mentoring and Increasing Student Attendance
Mentoring is a proven tool to help keep students connected to school. Absences – excused and unexcused – add up, resulting in too much time lost in the classroom. Missing 10% of the school year, just two to three days per month, in the early grades can leave many students struggling throughout elementary school. By 6th grade, missing that much school is strongly linked to course failure and even eventual dropout. Every school day counts, and mentors can help make a difference. For example, studies of formal mentoring programs have shown:
- Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school.
- Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 37% less likely than their peers to skip a class.
- Students at-risk for not graduating were 36% more likely to aspire to enroll in and graduate from college if they had a mentor.
The Attendance Awareness Month campaign is spearheaded by Attendance Works, America’s Promise Alliance, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Points of Light and United Way Worldwide and is supported by a growing list of other organizations.
Attendance Works is a national and state initiative that promotes better policy and practice around school attendance.