United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County launches initiative to combat absenteeism in local schools

United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County is launching a new initiative to address chronic absenteeism for youth in the Lincoln community.

Through its Stable. Strong. Successful. initiative, United Way will work closely with Lincoln Public Schools, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and our funded partners.

“It’s easy to understand that a child will fall behind in school if they’re not there on a regular basis,” said Linda Robinson Rutz, board president for United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County. “It’s all the circumstances that contribute to chronic absenteeism that we will be addressing through this collaboration.”

A student who misses two days per month or 18 days a year is considered chronically absent.

Twelve percent of Lincoln Public Schools students meet this threshold – that’s nearly 5,000 students.

Chronic absenteeism can be devastating to a child’s overall success in school.

Students are chronically absent for a variety of reasons, but can include bullying, illness, mental health issues or food and housing instability.

“At Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, we work with many communities across the state, who are working to support the needs of families,” said Betty Medinger, Senior Vice President at Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. “Communities that pull together to address needs collectively, rather than working in silos, are the ones that are successful, and we’re excited to see the collective work that this initiative will accomplish.

By working together, this program will expand services offered to not only students but their families.

A stable, strong, successful student begins at home and if life at home is unstable, it’s very difficult for a child to reach their full potential.

To learn more about this initiative, visit unitedwaylincoln.org or call 402.441.7700.


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