Push for stronger attendance record at 9th Annual CMSD Back to S - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Push for stronger attendance record at 9th Annual CMSD Back to School Fair

Children and their families attend back to school fair for CMSD (Source: WOIO) Children and their families attend back to school fair for CMSD (Source: WOIO)

It's hard to believe the start of school is just a couple weeks away on August 17th. Saturday's event was all about getting kids off on the right foot.

Of course, we have to start off by asking the kids if they are ready to go back--- and that's a toss-up by age group.

"I'm really excited to learn the new things, do all the physical, and mostly about health," said 10-year-old Nigel Newsome.

"Really like my friends and meeting new people," said 7-year-old Isaiah Young.

"I'm not ready to go back to school, but I know my mom's ready for me to go back," said 11th grader Autumn Thomas.

The administration, teachers, and staff at Saturday's 9th Annual CMSD Back to School Fair are ready.

"I am filled with so much energy. They have so much energy. Let's hope it translates to the school year," said Chief of Education, Monyka Price.

The administration has a big push for student attendance this year. The campaign is "Get to school, you can make it."

CMSD CEO Eric Gordon says "We have too many kids that miss more than 10 days of school.” He says,"They can get help with transportation. They can get school supplies, get uniform assistance which takes those barriers out of the way, so I can expect them to be in school on time on the  first day."

He says kids missing ten or more days have a 34 percent less likelihood of graduating.

"Ten days is a day or month. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but when we reframe it about the dramatic decrease in achievement only because of absence, we can end failure by absence."

The campaign specifically targets Kindergarten through second graders, like 7 year old Lyric Perkins, to help form good attendance habits early. So far, she's catching on.

"I'm ready to do a lot of homework because I want to be the smartest kid ever," said Lyric Perkins.

Parents at the Back to School Fair were thrilled with the event and the free school supplies. The school administration say this was their biggest turn-out yet-- helping about 2,500 kids.

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