Second phase of national dropout prevention campaign begins with Grad Nation

LatinaLista — It’s estimated that today 7,200 students dropped out of high school — and yesterday and the day before and the day before that and…you get the picture.
Altogether, it’s believed that there are over 1.3 million students who never finish a complete school year. What’s even sadder is that the majority of those students are Latinos.
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Ever since politicians, educators and community leaders noticed this dismal trend, people have banded together to come up with ways to keep kids in school. On April 1. 2008, America’s Promise Alliance launched the Dropout Prevention Campaign — their goal was to create the Dropout Prevention Summits bringing together people from a diverse array of professions to tackle the issue.
There were to be 105 summits–one in all 50 states and 55 cities with the largest dropout rates. The campaign ends in April 2010, and with eight summits scheduled for January 2010, and 69 summits already held since 2008, they may reach their goal.
Though get-togethers like these are great and can get the creative juices flowing and people sharing ideas, it doesn’t do any good unless something is produced — and thanks to those summits, the next phase of the Dropout Prevention campaign is underway. It’s called Grad Nation.

It is a guidebook that provides a road map to help communities tackle the dropout crisis. It is designed to help communities develop tailored plans for keeping students on track to graduate from high school, prepared for college, work and life.
It includes ready-to-print tools and links to additional online resources, in addition to research-based guidance. It provides information and tools for developing and implementing a customized program that’s right for individual communities and there’s even a list of organizations that can provide communities more help.

Only about half (53%) of all young people in the nation’s 50 largest cities are graduating from high school on time. As the second semester of the first school year for a new decade starts, it’s clear that not just one entity can solve the dropout crisis — it must be a community-wide effort.

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