News from City Hall
City Communications Office
City of Kansas City, Mo.
CONTACT: Mary Charles, city communications officer, (816) 513-1356
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 5, 2009
Dropout summit held Oct. 5 at UMKC campus
Event asked community to commit to take action to keep students in school
The City of Kansas City, Mo., Youth Advocacy Office, a division of the City Manager's Office, and America’s Promise welcomed a diverse group of community stakeholders and dropout prevention experts to the Kansas City Dropout Prevention Summit on Oct. 5 at Pierson Auditorium at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The event is one of 105 dropout summits that America’s Promise is sponsoring throughout the country. Additional sponsorship support was provided by CVS and State Farm.
The goal of the summit was to identify ways the community can leverage the good things that are already happening and look for new ways to bring all stakeholders together to create an overall climate that will lead to student success. Kansas City, Mo., School District Superintendent John Covington delivered the keynote address.
Leading up to the summit, four focus group forums of community stakeholders were assembled to create action plans to identify solutions to specific problems in stopping students dropping out of school. Each of the four forums was targeted at a specific group the organizers of the summit hope will provide a different perspective on the problem of youth dropping out of school.
The summit included breakout sessions focusing on showing a link between school and successful career, increasing student safety, providing individual support for students, offering professional services to help students and engaging the entire community in the process.
The summit closed with a commitment ceremony where businesses, individuals and area organizations will sign a pledge and make a formal commitment to following a specific action plan.
The Dropout Prevention Summit also featured a presentation of "Vanessa's Story," an Emmy Award-winning documentary produced by KCCG-TV2, the City Government Channel, operated by the City Communications Office. The 30-minute program was nominated for a Regional Emmy Award by the Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The program, which focuses on the plight of a young Kansas City woman whose decision to drop out of high school has left her unprepared to compete in today's society. It also features a high school principal, a social worker and a truant officer who, day-in and day-out, try to work with young people to help them stay in school to receive their diplomas. "Vanessa's Story" was one of three Emmy finalists in the Public/Current/Community Affairs - Program or Special category. The documentary was honored at the 33rd Annual Mid-America Emmy Gala on Oct. 3 in St. Louis.
America’s Promise, a non-profit organization founded in 1997 by Ret. Gen. Colin Powell, is a cross-sector partnership of more than 300 corporations, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and advocacy groups that are passionate about improving lives and changing outcomes for children.
For more information on the Dropout Summit, contact Thalia Cherry at (816) 513-1378.
-- 30 --