Huntington High School students are doing their part to increase overall attendance by reaching out to their fellow peers.
“They wanted to create a campaign to encourage each other to think outside themselves, reach out to their peers that they see aren’t coming, and let them know that they miss them,” said Graduation Coach Jessica Jordan.
‘Together We Can,’ was the slogan students at Huntington High School, along with Cabell Midland, came up with as they handed out t-shirts to launch their attendance campaign.
Jordan says students don’t usually look at adults as being able to understand what they’re going through; that’s why this program, which is possible through grants, is a student-led, student-driven, and student creative initiative.
Huntington High School junior, Ryan Conner, is one of the students that helped get the ball rolling on this campaign.
“We would talk about problems that we were having in school and seeing around school, so we would talk about many problems and situations that we thought kids would drop out of school for,” he said.
So, why the focus on attendance? Jordan says it’s because part of the reason students are not successful and fail to graduate is because they are failing to attend school to begin with.
Students at Huntington High School, Cabell Midland, and Cabell County Career Technology Center received their ‘Together We Can’ t-shirts Wednesday morning.
In order to get that t-shirt, students had to sign a pledge saying they will look after one another, set a positive example, come to school, and graduate.
Conner says this campaign is all about being someone other students can rely and fall back on when they are struggling.
“It could just be [a] pat on the back [to] say ‘how are you doing?’ That really changes a person and how they feel; they would know someone’s there for them,” said Conner. “I’m here to help them if they need to talk to somebody, or if they ever l need a friend. I’m there for them and I’m willing to help.”
If anything, students at Huntington High now know they’ll always have a friend in Ryan.
The ‘Together We Can’ t-shirt was designed and screen printed by students at the Cabell County Career Technology Center.