Students lead a press conference on the importance of attendance. Photo Credit: UW/SDUSD
Students lead a press conference on the importance of attendance. Photo Credit: United Way/SDUSD

The students of Wilson Middle School and Hoover High School held a press conference to help launch a joint attendance campaign for United Way of San Diego County and the San Diego Unified School District .

“It’s important that you come to school every day,” Elsa Cespedes said, a student at Wilson Middle School. “Did you know that if you miss just one day of school, it takes one and a half days to make it up?!”

This kicked off the “Attend. Connect. Succeed” attendance campaign which aims to increase attendance by five percent this year, mainly targeting the most chronically absent students, according to an official from United Way.

Officials say about 12 students in middle school and high school participated in this campaign meeting to discuss why attendance is important for academic performance.

Classes started one week early for all the San Diego Unified schools, on Monday, Aug. 29.

Sherlin Cruz, a sophomore at Hoover High School, had some extra assignments for the parents at the attendance campaign launch.

Cruz announced: “So now I get to give out some homework: Parents, help your kids get to school starting this Monday and every school day this year!”

This campaign program included attendance incentives, recognition events and the growth of “Every Student, Every Day,” a national initiative to combat chronic absenteeism.

United Way is also running a statewide initiative to  “Help California students start the year off ready to learn!” The “Attend. Connect. Succeed.” campaign is part of that initiative.