Mott Foundation to provide up to $1 million in grants to prevent absenteeism, keep kids in school

Every Student, Every Day
Research indicates students who miss at least 10%, or approximately 18 days, of school per academic year are at risk of falling behind and dropping out of school. Photo: Adam Stoltman

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation will support a new national initiative to prevent chronic absenteeism that’s being launched as the latest effort of the Obama Administration’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. Mott will provide up to $1 million to support a cross-sector initiative titled, “Every Student, Every Day: A National Initiative to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism.”

“Education is the single most important pathway to opportunity. So if kids are missing school, they’re missing out,” said Ridgway White, president of the Mott Foundation. “Our Foundation has a long history of supporting afterschool programs and community education as ways to keep kids connected to schools and improve their educational experience. We see this new initiative as a valuable complement to our ongoing work.”

Mott funds will support two components of the initiative: a public awareness campaign and a mentoring project. The public awareness campaign is a public-private partnership led by the Department of Education and the Ad Council that will focus on helping to educate parents and communities about the significant problem of chronic absenteeism and its detrimental effects on student success. Mott will provide up to $500,000 to the Ad Council for the effort.

The mentoring project will scale up a data-driven program to reach chronically absent students in targeted communities nationwide. Mott will provide up to $500,000 to Johns Hopkins University for this component of the initiative, and a portion of those funds will ensure that the Foundation’s hometown of Flint, Michigan, will receive technical assistance to implement the mentoring program.

Mott support for Every Student, Every Day also will help to incorporate afterschool programs as part of the solution to chronic absenteeism. Research has demonstrated that participation in quality afterschool programs can lead to improved student outcomes, including better grades, active youth engagement, positive social behavior and improved school attendance.