Today, Mayor Sly James led a broad group of Kansas City leaders and celebrities in reminding students and families that school attendance is critical to academic success. The Mayor declared September as Attendance Awareness Month last Thursday during the City Council’s legislative session. He joins a nationwide effort, coordinated by the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, to raise awareness about the value of regular school attendance and reducing chronic absenteeism in the new school year.
In addition to local educators, elected officials, and business and civic leaders, several Kansas City celebrities showed their support for school attendance today: George Brett, Kevin Uhlich, and Sluggerrr represented the Kansas City Royals, Keith Cash, Bill Chapin, and KC Wolf represented the Kansas City Chiefs, and Kansas City-based hip-hop recording artist and entrepreneur, Tech N9ne, all joined in supporting Mayor James’ call for making attendance a community focus this school year.
“When such a broad spectrum of people show up to support a cause, you know it’s an important one,” said Mayor James. “Today’s event shows that Kansas City is a community that cares deeply about its young people and their future success. Attendance impacts achievement and achievement determines the workforce of tomorrow. School attendance, quite frankly, is an economic imperative”
Both excused and unexcused absences can add up quickly and have a negative impact on student achievement. Last year, the City Council passed a truancy ordinance to further emphasize that students belong in the classroom during the school day. “Good attendance not only helps lead to increased academic achievement, but it also is a valuable life skill for later in life in the workforce,” Mayor James added.
Mayor James will continue to lead efforts to promote Attendance Awareness Month through social media during September. Those interested in following the events and news associated with today’s announcement can search #AttendanceWorksKC on Facebook and Twitter.