Fifty one ninth through twelfth grade students at Crestwood High School were honored late last month at a special breakfast through the Attendance Matters program.
The breakfast was sponsored by Partners in Education (PIE), a non-profit organization that partners with local business and education partners to ensure that “all students leave school with the academic, technical and employability skills necessary to be successful in the 21st century.” The Attendance Matters program recognizes students who achieve perfect attendance in at least one marking period throughout the school year.
Dr. Edward Lyba, PIE Executive Director, says that perfect attendance is a positive trait that employers are looking for in today’s workplace. He recounts how PIE established the Attendance Matters Initiative in 2008 to recognize and encourage students to develop good habits which will then transfer into positive work habits when they enter the workforce.
“Attendance really is very, very important.” stressed Dr. Lyba “What they do in school is what they are going to do when they get to the workplace. If we can teach good work habits and employability skills now, hopefully our workforce will be much more successful.”
Along with a complete breakfast supplied by The Nutrition Group, all students received a Certificate of Attendance signed by Dr. Lyba and Superintendent Dave McLaughlin-Smith.
PIE also provided each school district with a generous assortment of gifts donated by area businesses in recognition of their perfect attendance accomplishment. Prizes included gift certificates to the Laurel Mall, Sheetz, Amazon, White Water Challengers and Valley Family Martial Arts. There were also gift baskets and other prizes from Hershey Foods, LCCC and the Wilkes-Barre/ScrantonRailriders.
As of last year, over $16,000 in student gifts have been donated by local businesses and distributed to students in the three participating school districts of Hazleton, Weatherly and Crestwood. There are 22 members of the business community representing PIE.
The program has made a difference. PIE has been keeping data and charting students who achieve perfect attendance in at least one semester and has seen a dramatic increase in those numbers since the 2008-2009 school year.
Dr. Lyba says the state average for students with perfect attendance is less than 8%, but is higher for those districts involved in the program.
“We’re just trying to work as close as we can with local employers to make sure our students have the right skills –academic, technical and employability skills-in order to be successful” said Lyba.
For more information on Partners in Education and how you can contribute to the Attendance Matters Program, please call (570) 450-6314 or visit www.partnersined.org.