Houston, TX, September 02, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- Mayor Bill White and Houston Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Abelardo Saavedra announced yesterday that five major Texas cities and 16 school districts have joined Expectation Graduation’s Reach Out to Dropouts Walk this school year. The Houston initiative has become a model for encouraging students to return to school throughout the State. Mayors, area school districts, and thousands of volunteers will be talking directly to potential dropouts on Saturday, September 6, 2008.
This year Expectation Graduation’s Reach Out to Dropouts Walk will be held in the cities of Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso, Corpus Christi, and their surrounding areas. Also, Baytown, Galena Park, Stafford, Richmond, and Rosenberg will be participating.
School district partners in the Houston Metropolitan Area include the Houston ISD, Aldine ISD, Alief ISD, Channelview ISD, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Galena Park ISD, Goose Creek CISD, North Forest ISD, Sheldon ISD, Spring Branch ISD, Stafford MSD, and Lamar CISD. Participating school districts also include Dallas ISD, Fort Worth ISD, San Antonio ISD, Corpus Christi ISD, and El Paso ISD.
Thousands of volunteers, including mayors and school officials, will visit the homes of potential dropouts.
“The jobs of this economy require at least a high school education to prepare our students for a future with opportunity,” states Houston Mayor Bill White.
In 2007, more than 1,741 homes were visited in Houston ISD alone, with personal contacts made with 686 students and/or parents.
“HISD is committed to this initiative,” says Houston Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Abelardo Saavedra. “We have to show these children one-on-one that we care, that their education is important and that we will do anything it takes to get them back into school and succeeding there.”
Last year, HISD encouraged 60 students to return to class the day of the walk and by the end of September 2007, 766 students who were contacted during the walk were back in school. In addition, HISD has 10 full-time dropout prevention specialists who follow up on these and other dropouts to persuade them to return to school. During the 2007-2008 school year, 1,627 students returned to school.
The mayors of the new cities involved and their school districts are initiating the Reach Out to Dropouts Walk this year with enthusiasm and conviction. A full-scale outreach to volunteers began this summer in each city.
The future workforce and economy of the State of Texas will be affected dramatically if students do not graduate from high school and further their education.
“Each year, this walk demonstrates the power of public engagement in our public schools,” said Scott Van Beck, Executive Director of Houston A+ Challenge, a founding partner of the walk. “The walk is the beginning of the process. It’s important the Houston community commits to seeing it through to the culmination – helping schools ensure that all students graduate high school and achieve post-secondary success in college and the workplace.”
Partners include the cities of Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso, Corpus Christi, and their surrounding school districts. Also, Baytown, Galena Park, Stafford, Richmond, and Rosenberg will be participating.
Founding partners include the City of Houston, the Houston Independent School District, and the Houston A+ Challenge.