COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - October is Attendance Awareness Month, and the award goes to a deserving elementary school in Columbus.
Truancy is one of the first signs of trouble, according to the experts. They also say it's a gateway to crime for high school students.
The Muscogee County School District, Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services, and the Columbus Bar Association are teaming up to combat the problem with the Truancy Intervention Program (T.I.P.)
"We had our first annual Attendance Awareness Contest and there were six schools involved," explains T.I.P. coordinator DeSonuia Wise.
The competition was broken down into classes, and the group with the least amount of absences and tardiness came out on top. In T.I.P., volunteers pair up with students to drive home an important message.
"We got into the home and talk to the children about what's causing them to be absent," Wise added.
The weekly class winners received prizes, but the overall winners – students at Waddell Elementary School – were treated to a movie and popcorn.
If you would like to get involved and help prevent truancy to become a mentor, visit the official website at this link. You must be 18 years old and be willing to spend time with children.