Comed makes a donation today to help step up the fight against truancy in our area. The campaign is about more than just skipping school.
Rockford has declared war on truancy and this $20,000 check is one more sign of that commitment. But with all the problems facing teens today, why is truancy the chosen battlefront?
Rockford Mayor Morissey says, "Truancy rate of 9% here in Rockford, the average rate statewide is a little over 2% tells us this is a really serious problem in our community."
The hope is that keeping kids in school will keep them away from more serious troubles.
Michael Call, CEO of United Way Rock River Valley says, "When a kid skips school he's more likely to fail school and drop out of school and if you drop out of school, you're more likely to to become involved in crime, substance abuse, be unemployed or under employed and a host of other social problems."
Comed's donation will double the size and expand in other ways rockford's current curfew workshops program. That's run by the YWCA and the United Way. Through it truant kids go through the court system and then...
"They're referred either through our program or they're fined. And when they go through our program they are going through 2 days of training that gets into the root causes of the truancy," says Kris Kieper, Executive Director of the Rockford YWCA.
Rockford passed a new truancy ordinance over the summer. Right now any child found skipping school without an excuse can be cited.