To encourage school attendance among New York City Public School students, Old Navy – with the help of Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, Chancellor Joel I. Klein, the Mayor’s Chief Policy Advisor John Feinblatt, and New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes – gave 300 students a shopping experience to remember as part of their Attendance Drive initiative.
The students who participated in the event are from several schools participating in the Mayor’s citywide pilot program addressing chronic absenteeism and truancy. Each student signed and recited an official Attendance Pledge and received a new winter coat and $50 gift card to purchase new school clothes at Old Navy’s flagship store on 34th Street in Manhattan.
“Student test scores, attendance and drop out rates have steadily improved over the past eight years, as has the quality of a New York City public school education," said Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein. "These interagency collaborations, combined with support from committed partners like Old Navy, will take us one step closer to ensuring that all students have the chance to take advantage of what our schools are offering."
While attendance rates have improved at NYC public schools, approximately one out of every five New York City school students missed one month or more of school last year. Research shows that three out of four students who are chronically absent in the sixth grade never graduate from high school. Furthermore, the first six weeks of the school year have been identified as the most crucial weeks for establishing strong attendance yearlong.
“When we learned that one of the reasons for low attendance is embarrassment from wearing the same clothes repeatedly, we decided to step in with our Attendance Drive initiative,” said Amy Curtis-McIntyre, senior vice president, marketing, Old Navy. “Rewarding students who show their commitment to attending school is a humbling experience. Old Navy is proud to participate in a program that helps keep students engaged in their education. Empowering today’s students and young people is essential for a positive future,” added Curtis-McIntyre.
The Old Navy Attendance Drive was created to motivate students to attend class, inspire them with memorable mentor moments featuring role models such as Mets player Jose Reyes, and reward them for improving attendance with clothes they’re eager to wear to school. The 300 students got to meet Reyes yesterday. Reyes stressed the importance of attending school every day and encouraged students to adhere to their pledge. He also handed out autographed items.
The Attendance Drive event was the fourth in a series that took place in school districts across the country this Fall. Since late August, Old Navy has hosted Attendance Drive events at stores in Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles, encouraging attendance and awarding shopping sprees to more than 900 students, from kindergarten through eighth grade. Each event has consisted of “mentor moments” led by school principals or administration officials prior to the students reciting the Attendance Pledge aloud, before commencing their $50 shopping sprees.
Old Navy plans to extend its Attendance Drive initiative by issuing another challenge to students, inviting them to demonstrate perfect attendance through the end of the school year. For store locations, please visit www.oldnavy.com