DETROIT – There is a goal to find solutions so that every student in Detroit has a way to get to school.
Detroit churches and the non-profit ‘Helping Kids Go To School’ are teaming up to ensure students are in the classroom throughout the school year.
“We are encouraging our members to become mentors, to check in with families, to make sure families have the resources they need for their children to begin school,” said Cindy Rudolph, a senior pastor at Oakgrove AME Church.
The charitable organization says Detroit has one of the highest chronic absenteeism rates of any major city in the country. More than 50% of students are chronically absent starting in kindergarten.
“it could be environmental issues like transportation, economic issues like parents having to work, mental/physical issues being afraid to go to school, so there are a lot of factors,” said Sharinese Jackson, a pastor at Vernon Chapel AME Church.
The mission is to break the school-to-prison pipeline or cycles of poverty.
“Maybe some families can partner with other families, maybe parents can carpool, maybe they don’t know that busing is available, so as we dialogue, we can get more kids in school, get parents the support they need, and make a real difference on this issue,” said Rudolph.