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CCS and the Columbus Crew Team Up to Promote Attendance, Announce Exciting New Initiative

September 22, 2022 -- The start of Paola Ramirez’s day was anything but ordinary. The Sullivant Elementary School 3rd grader was greeted at the door with cheers from not only her educators, but also members of the Columbus Crew. Among them were Crew Cat and his friend S.C. The mischievous mascots hopped on one of the school buses to ride in with the students, a stunt that made Ramirez laugh. 

“I liked the way the mascots got on the bus,” she said. “It was a fun time.”

The Crew visited Sullivant on September 22nd to clap in the students and welcome the beginning of a new initiative geared toward improving student attendance. The team is partnering with Columbus City Schools to join the ‘Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day’ Network. Before the students were welcomed, several speakers explained the importance of the initiative and how it aims to benefit CCS students.

Learn More: Stay In The Game

“This is our biggest initiative this year,” CCS Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon said. “It is so important for our students to come to school on time each day excited to learn. It is as simple as this: the more students are at school and engaged in the classroom, the more they are set up for success.”

The ‘Stay in the Game!’ Network is a statewide initiative started in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District with the Cleveland Browns. It promotes quality education by using attendance data and feedback from families to build a school-going culture and reduce common barriers to regular attendance.

“We know our students need to be in school, and we are committed to uncovering the barriers that stand in the way of consistent daily attendance,” Dr. Dixon said. “Being part of the ‘Stay in the Game!’ Network means we are working together to provide all students with equitable opportunities to be successful.”

Through the new initiative, CCS will engage in creative outreach efforts to encourage students to come to school every day. The Sullivant clap-in was just the beginning. The Crew will be working alongside CCS to get students excited about being in the classroom all year long.

“As part of our partnership, we will be able to deliver resources and messaging to parents, students, and families, and I can’t think of better ambassadors for our parents to hear from than our players,” said Crew President of Business Operations Kristin Bernert.

Several of the players were on-site to welcome the students. Ramirez is a soccer fan and was excited to meet them. She had fun high-fiving the players as she ran in the doors, but it will be difficult for any of them to usurp Crew Cat as her favorite teammate. She said if she had the choice, she would start every day with a clap-in from him and his team.

Dr. Dixon was excited to see the students’ enthusiasm and is looking forward to the program’s growth.

“Together, we will continue to engage our students, families, and our entire community so our students are excited to come to school and will thrive in positive learning environments,” she said. “Promoting attendance is truly a team sport.”

If you are interested in learning more about CCS’  ‘Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day’ Network initiative, you can tune in to our Virtual Family Engagement Session on September 22nd at 6:00 p.m. Click here to listen live or access a recorded copy.

Power of One

Priority 1 - Whole Child FocusedPriority 2 - Equitable Opportunities for AllPriority 3 - Strong Learning Communities in Every RegionPriority 4 - Authentic EngagementPortrait Attribute 1 - AdaptabilityPortrait Attribute 2 - CommunicationPortrait Attribute 3 - CreativityPortrait Attribute 4 - CreativityPortrait Attribute 5 - Global EmpathyPortrait Attribute 6 - Technology