Mayor Rawlings-Blake Kicks-Off Attendance Campaign
Class with most improved attendance wins trip to Port Discovery.
BALTIMORE, MD. (AUGUST 27, 2012) – Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake launched the Mayor’s Attendance Campaign, as well as a competition aimed at increasing attendance at Baltimore City schools. The mayor was joined by partners in the effort, including Bryn Parchman, president & CEO of Port Discovery Children’s Museum; Molly McGrath, director of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services; and Kevin Keegan, CEO of the Family League of Baltimore City.
From August 27 through September 27, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes can compete for prizes, grants, and amazing experiences. The winning school will be determined by comparing this year’s submitted attendance to attendance from the same period last year. The school with the most improved attendance will be announced on Friday, September 28.
“One of the necessary pieces of success in school is showing up to school every day,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Children with low attendance miss out on vital learning opportunities. We are grateful for our nonprofit and business partners who understand the value of education and are supporting our effort to make Baltimore’s schools better every day.”
“Making school attendance a priority helps children learn the good work and study habits that will serve them well now and throughout their lives,” said Bryn Parchman, President and CEO of Port Discovery Children’s Museum. “Port Discovery Children’s Museum is honored to be a part of such an important initiative and we look forward to doing our part to encourage good attendance habits.”
The grand prize is a trip for the entire class to Port Discovery Children’s Museum. Students will also receive T-shirts from Under Armour and visits from special guests. The school with the most improved attendance will get a $1000 grant from Comcast. In addition to supporting the mayor’s attendance campaign, Comcast supports Baltimore City schools and students through various year-round efforts, including its Leaders and Achievers scholarship program and through programs like Internet Essentials, which provides affordable, at-home broadband Internet service and low-cost computers to lower-income families.
“Comcast places an emphasis on supporting programs that advance education and provide young people with opportunities to reach their full potential,” said Donna Rattley Washington, regional vice president of government and community affairs for Comcast. “We are pleased to be involved in this important initiative.”
“In our work on the Baltimore Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, attendance is one of the three keys – along with kindergarten readiness and summer learning -- to ensuring that our young people are on track to read by the end of third grade and succeed,” said Kevin Keegan, president and CEO of the Family League of Baltimore City. “With the Mayor’s leadership and in conjunction with the Mayor’s Youth Cabinet and other community partners, we are creatively and strategically working to improve outcomes for Baltimore City youth.”
The Mayor’s Attendance Campaign is an initiative of the Mayor’s Youth Cabinet. On average, one in four Baltimore kindergarten students misses a month of school. Starting in kindergarten, these absences can affect academic achievement, especially for low-income students. Poor attendance in early grades can set a pattern leading to academic struggles for older students.
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