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New D.C. Ad Campaign Encourages School Attendance

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The new "The More You Learn, The More You Earn" campaign is part of an effort to encourage kids to show up to class.
Kavitha Cardoza
The new "The More You Learn, The More You Earn" campaign is part of an effort to encourage kids to show up to class.

D.C. is beginning a citywide ad campaign aimed at increasing school attendance. The campaign's theme, "The More You Learn, the More You Earn," features posters of five D.C. students urging other teenagers to attend school.

Rebeca Lara is a senior at Cardozo High School.  She wants to be a mechanical engineer.

"You know without education we can't be successful in life," says Lara. "And you know we all want money so come to school."

Deputy Mayor for Education De'Shawn Wright says the ad campaign is part of a larger effort that includes working individually with students who have racked up the most absences and partnering with the courts. He says his office is also making sure areas around Metro stations are well lit and have a police presence so students feel safe coming to school.

"Certainly an ad campaign alone cannot move the bar, but as part of a concentrated effort we believe all these efforts will culminate into an improvement," says Lara.

Citywide Wright says 40 percent of the city's ninth graders have more than two weeks of unexcused absences. Freshman year is also when most students in the District drop out. Research shows students who miss school are more likely to drop out.

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