13 January 2010

Documentary chronicles one town's truancy fight

I've been reading a fair amount about truancy lately, and I came across this documentary by KVIE-TV, a public television station in Sacremento, Calif. "High School Dropouts" was part of the station's "ViewFinder" public affairs program, and it looked at the problems truancy and dropouts cause in one California community and that community's attempt to deal with it.

YorkCounts is in the middle of a series of town halls that focus on this subject. We're trying to throw a light on the same problems that exist in York County, by focusing on the United Way's Stay in School Report, and to tell folks that there are programs that exist that can help keep kids in school. The next town hall is 6:30 p.m. Jan. 19 at William Penn Senior High School.

The numbers in the United Way report are compelling, but they don't quite tell the story the way this film from California does. If you want to see the human toll that truancy has on a community, watch this video. Then come to our town hall and hear what we can do right now to help parents, challenge students, engage businesses and make all of our public schools better.

- Dan Fink


Anonymous said...

I believe that efforts described by York,s truancy fight are one way to prevent truancy. However, as a retired elementary teacher in the City of York, that the effort has to be three pronged. (1) early childhood education aged four; (2) parental mandatory involvement - many parents are teen-age dropouts themselves who are 3rd generation dropouts who do not know how to parent effectively, or even, how to communicate adequately with words to their toddlers and young children; they do not know how to listen to their children, or how to read to their children; or how to turn off the TV when the child should be doing homework,or engaging in family communication.
Without early prevention, by grade six, the child can already feel like a misfit in school. Let's hope that we can look at the whole picture, not just wait until truancy is a real problem.

YorkCounts said...

Anonymous, you are absolutely right that it takes a multi-pronged approach. In York County, Focus on our Future deals with the early childhood part by increasing the availability of licensed day care facilities. Parental involvement is being addressed with the help of a recently announced $50,000 grant to the United Way to develop a program help parents be more involved with their children's education. It's a huge undertaking, for the reasons you mentioned. Thanks for you comment.