Even before the pandemic and the striking acts of police brutality and indifference toward black Americans, nearly 8 million students—16 percent of the nation’s public-school population—were missing 10 percent or more of the school year. With the disruption of the school calendar, the possibility that classes will continue online in the fall, and the trauma that the recent killings have surely inflicted on many students of color, schools face new and difficult challenges in trying to keep students engaged.

TODAY MATTERS: Be Seen. Be Heard. Be Present is a South Ward Promise Neighborhood and Newark Trust for Education public awareness campaign initiative aimed at decreasing chronic absenteeism among students in the South Ward by arming parents, caregivers, and young people with the information and support necessary for students to attend school regularly.

The campaign consists of:

  • A largely out-of-school public awareness campaign managed by the South Ward Promise Neighborhood.
  • An in-school educator mobilization effort managed by the Newark Trust for Education. The effort will succeed by equipping parents, caregivers, and young people with the information and support needed in order to be seen, be heard, and be present every school day of the year.

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