The Be Here Get There campaign is a research-driven, incentive-based campaign designed to raise awareness and improve academic achievement by improving citywide school attendance.
“Research has shown that students with more than 20 absences per year have less than a one-in-five chance of graduating from high school,” said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. “Chronic absence in our schools should be a concern for everyone. We can and must do better for our students.”
Be Here Get There is a joint initiative of the City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools, Alliance for Education, and Get Schooled to raise awareness of the importance of going to school using community-wide education and incentives. The campaign will address the chronic absenteeism currently affecting public schools across Seattle and help improve academic achievement, boost overall student success, and cultivate a lifelong passion for learning.
“This campaign is a way to bring the community together to work towards a shared goal of improving outcomes for students,” said Susan Enfield, interim superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. “In the 2009–2010 school year, only 62 percent of students met our attendance goal. It will take all of us working together to meet Seattle Public Schools’ goal to have at least 80 percent of students with fewer than 10 absences by 2013.”
The Be Here Get There campaign aims to make schools engaging and attractive to students by rewarding positive behavior. To help the campaign reach students, Get Schooled is starting wake-up calls. These calls will feature a friendly message about school attendance from celebrities like NBA Player Jamal Crawford and hip hop artist Wiz Khalifa.
“Students today are heavily influenced by social media and pop culture. These celebrity wake-up calls tap into that and give students the extra encouragement they need to get them out of bed and off to school on time.” said Get Schooled’s Executive Director, Marie Groark. Students can sign up for the wake-up calls by visiting, getschooled.com/wakeup.
“A majority of the schools that we are focusing on are schools in the southern part of Seattle who are in communities with large populations of Asian Americans. Our campaign wants to make sure that the Asian American community in Seattle knows there is action taking place to put an end to truancy,” said Daniel Nguyen, a mayoral attendance campaign intern and a University of Washington student.
The Get Schooled Seattle website will simultaneously track school attendance, allowing students at schools across the city to see how they compare. Beyond incentives and competitions in schools, Be Here Get There will focus on strategies for schools, students, families, and the community, as well as the shared responsibility to improve attendance. The campaign will address chronic absenteeism in ways that meet the needs of students, families, and schools. (end)
For more information, visit www.getschooled.com.