How does perfect attendance equal a free bike?Posted: 09/30/2019
As part of District Attorney Charme Allen’s Truancy Reduction Initiative, she offered West Hills Elementary students a special deal; if they achieve perfect attendance during her Bike Reward Program, they will receive a brand-new bike. DA Allen, staff members and community volunteers will also visit throughout the school year to encourage attendance and offer other incentives for students who reach attendance goals.
“The Bike Reward Program gives us the opportunity to teach students that attendance matters and is crucial to their success. It is never too early for them to learn that the first step to success is showing up,” shared DA Allen.
Each year since taking office, DA Allen has partnered with a Knox County elementary school to encourage attendance and, ultimately, reduce truancy. She created the Bike Reward Program to encourage positive habits early on. Good attendance matters for school success, starting as early as pre-kindergarten and continuing through elementary school. Chronic absenteeism and truancy are identified as areas of concern in our schools and community.
Reducing truancy is an important step in preventing Knox County youth from entering the juvenile justice system. Research and first-hand experience tell us that children who are truant have lower grades, need to repeat grades more often, have higher rates of expulsion, and have lower rates of high school graduation. Research also tells us that children who habitually miss school are at risk of substance abuse, gang activity, criminal behavior, suicide, and early sexual activity, making truancy a community issue, not just an education issue.
The Bike Reward Program is only possible through community support. This year’s incentive program is funded by the Rotary Club of Knoxville.