I consider myself a citizen who cares and is involved with her community. I volunteer in the community, only doing the things I know I will enjoy doing, which helps me to remain committed. I have done a shift with a very popular and busy Peoria Police Officer and I have done a ride about with a very popular and busy District 150 Teacher who is desparately trying to reach students who have dropped out and pull them back.
On the first ride about with this teacher, we encountered the young man, who is the "city's seventh homicide victim of the year." His street name: Reco Suave, his birth name: Roberico King. Roberico was a drop out from District 150 public schools, he had so much potential. Potential that he will never realize. If only this teacher had more help in reaching him...
Peoria has got to find a way to reach all of these young people who have dropped out of school and subsequently civil society. Recently a reader of the blog pointed me to a program that other communities are implementing, a program called "Drop Out Walks":
A Drop Out Walk is when volunteers (community representatives, Board members, administration and school staff) take part in an annual “Reach Out to Dropout Walk” to encourage students who have dropped out of school to return and complete their education. The event would give volunteers the opportunity to meet face-to-face with students to show that they care about the students’ success at completing high school. This is the call to action from another city:
The teacher I mentioned above is heart broken about Roberico and all of the other students that we are losing to the street. This teacher has gone into neighborhoods that even I wouldn't consider going, just to reach students. This teacher shouldn't be alone in the drop out walk - we can all help.
Let's get this started Peoria. We can plan over the summer and kick off the 2012-2013 school year reaching out to youths who have dropped out. Is this something readers of this blog would get behind?
Hat tip to Kohlrabi for the Drop Out Walk information.