Cleveland Browns alumni kicked off the CMSD Back to School event by speaking about the importance of hard work in school and life. Browns Give Back provided game tickets and signed memorabilia to parents that pledged to get their students to school every day.
Browns Give Back continues to help power the Cleveland Metropolitan School District's (CMSD) mission to curb at-risk absenteeism.
Their most recent endeavor came earlier this month as CMSD and the Mayor's Office hosted a back-to-school event in which more than 3,000 eager students and parents attended workshops and received free school supplies.
The Browns, headlined by alumni Steve Sanders and Reggie Hodges, had a table at the event focused on supporting the district's 'Get 2 School. You Can Make It!' attendance campaign. Sanders and Hodges helped emphasize the importance of hard work in and out of the classroom, encouraging parents in attendance to ensure their children make it to school each and every day.
Browns Give Back and CMSD gave away 2,000 tickets to a Browns preseason game to parents who signed the district's attendance campaign pledge. Parents were asked to read the attendance pledge together to commit their support to helping their kids get to school every day and on time.
CMSD's 'Get 2 School, You Can Make It!' attendance campaign works to promote a school-going culture and remove the barriers of students missing school and targets students with at-risk attendance to ensure they don't miss more than 10 days a school year to keep students in school and succeeding.
The district's student data shows that students who miss 10 or more days a school year are significantly less likely to graduate and score much lower on state tests. Attendance remains an issue for school districts across the country — more than 6 million students nationwide miss at least 15 days of school, according to the Department of Education. Ohio defines chronic absenteeism at 18 days, or 10 percent of the school year.
Since the inception of the 'Get 2 School' campaign three years ago, the district has reduced the number of students with off-track attendance by nearly 22 percent (off-track attendance is defined as missing more than 10 days a school year). This means over 4,100 students improved their attendance habits, which in turn significantly increases their chances to graduate and succeed academically.
Working toward CMSD's mission to curb absenteeism, Browns Give Back has also partnered with Shoes and Clothes for Kids to create a new program "Special Teams Packages" that provide students facing extreme financial hardship with school uniforms, school supplies, casual clothes and other necessary items to get to school.