September is National Attendance Awareness Month

By Sarah Shugrue, manager of Western MA partnerships

Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) is a proud supporter of the Stay in School Campaign, a Springfield city-wide campaign focused on reducing the rate of chronic absenteeism and encouraging students to attend school daily, graduate on time, and pursue their dreams.

awbadge_notag200This September, we are looking forward to celebrating the inaugural Attendance Awareness Month statewide to raise awareness on how mentoring can play a role in academic success. The week of Sept. 16-22 is being celebrated as Mentoring Works! Week.

Children with mentors are:

  • 52 percent less likely than their peers to skip a day of school
  • 37 percent less likely to skip a class
  • More likely to improve their grades
  • More likely to have better attitudes about school and trust their teachers

We believe that mentoring can play a critical role in supporting the Commonwealth’s goals of improving the drop out rate and improving academic achievement for students. Underprivileged youth are more likely than others to drop out of school and engage in risky behaviors that can negatively affect their future potential and the health of our communities.

Mentoring can help reverse these risk factors, as youth with mentors are more likely to have a positive and engaged attitude toward school and are more likely to stay in school. In addition, mentoring can help promote academic success by reducing behavior problems, improving literacy, and increasing post-secondary options for all students.

Let’s raise our collective voices this September to show how mentoring is a powerful, low-cost strategy for addressing the drop out and chronic absenteeism rates in our communities. By matching at-risk students with trusting and caring adult mentors, we can help transform and overcome the harmful cycles that prevent youth from succeeding. Please consider how you can support mentoring, whether you become a mentor, develop a program, join a board or help promote the message that mentoring works.