Volunteers canvass in Youngstown ahead of first day of school

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – With classes starting Monday at Youngstown City Schools, district leaders, teachers and volunteers took to the city’s streets to remind caretakers.

Even CEO Krish Mohip was out Friday afternoon, walking door-to-door, speaking with parents in the district.

The attendance goal for the first day of school in Youngstown is 98 percent, which would be better than the school’s overall attendance rate of 91 percent two years ago.

“We have to remember that education is what empowers our children and without an education, our children stand still,” said Marcia Dinkins with the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative.

Poor attendance doesn’t just take a toll on the students’ education, but it affects the teachers too.

“You’re finding yourself reteaching things, you’re finding yourself resetting the rules for when the other kids actually do arrive. So it’s easier when everyone shows up on time,” said English teacher Shaunda Yancey.

There are about 3,000 houses in the district. Organizers said they didn’t have enough people show up to visit all of them, but they tried to get to as many homes as they could.

Volunteers placed fliers at homes that didn’t answer the door Friday. They are also making phone calls, reminding parents to send their kids to school.

“We’re making this extra effort to ensure every neighborhood we can touch, knows,” said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Milton Walters.

Schools will be handing out free school supplies and for the first three weeks, students won’t get in trouble for not wearing uniforms.

“We don’t want any possible deterrent that we can eliminate to prevent any child or student from coming back to school with us,” Walters said.

The reminder isn’t just verbal, it’s visual as well. There are signs lining streets throughout the city and digital billboards letting people know that Monday is the first day of school.

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