New York City high school students with high absenteeism will soon be receiving early-morning phone calls featuring celebrities. Magic Johnson, Trey Songz, and Jose Reyes are among the notable people to record messages encouraging students to go to school. The program is called WakeUp! and will be going out to 6,500 students this week.
“Through WakeUp! NYC we’re putting on a full-court press, using mass media and digital media to drive home the point that every student should be in school every day,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “It’s the next step in our efforts to cut absenteeism and put more students on the road to success, in school and in life.” The mayor added that they hope to eventually reach 250,000 students with chronic absenteeism.
“Good news” celebrity calls will also be used as rewards for students with good attendance.
“I hope to use my fame as a positive influence and keep kids in school and out of the streets,” said R&B star Trey Songz.
The city has made other efforts to reduce the number of student absences, like a pilot program that pairs students with an adult mentor. So far, the outcome is promising.
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