By Shaunna Cullen
YWCA New Britain preschool students with perfect attendance this school year were recently celebrated for their commitment to learning.
According to a study conducted by Everyone Graduates Center in partnership with John Hopkins University, chronic absence in kindergarten is associated with lower academic performance in first grade. The impact is twice as great for students from low-income families. Studies show one of the most effective strategies for providing a way out of poverty is to get these students to school every day. This alone, even without improvements to the American education system, will drive up achievement, high school graduation, and college attainment rates.
To combat chronic absenteeism, YWCA and the New Britain Board of Education encourage perfect attendance. Every month, when a student was at school every day, they received a ticket to put into the end of year prize drawing. The Board of Education kindly provided the prizes, which included season family pool passes, passes to Lessard Lanes Bowling, gift cards to Payless Shoes and Price Rite, and tickets to a New Britain Bees' baseball game.
In addition to the prizes, a pizza party was organized and each child was given a t-shirt. At the end of the party, children got to pick a new book to take home to encourage summer reading.
"Thank you to all of our families, who have worked so hard to get your child(ren) to school on a daily basis during the 2016/2017 school year. We had a wonderful time celebrating this accomplishment at our attendance event!" said Michelle Japs, Family Service Worker.
To learn more about how to encourage regular school attendance, visit http://new.every1graduates.org .