A fourth-grade class from Summerdale Elementary School in San Jose has been awarded $1,500 from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office for creating a cool and clever two-minute video on “Why Attendance Matters.”
The video, starring students led by teacher Kristine Tsung, will be used in a county-wide campaign to raise awareness about the importance of attendance to a child’s life-long success.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen was charmed: “The kids explained so clearly why being in school on time every day makes the world a better, safer place.”
The video will be played on the DA’s website, in the reception room of the DA’s Office, and in the Family Justice Courthouse.
Three students from Gunn High School in Palo Alto have been awarded the top prize among the high school entries, also winning $1,500. In their video, Scott Lee, Deven Pawar, and Alex Li examine what might lure a high schooler away from class, and what the dire consequences could be.
In Santa Clara County, almost 10 percent of students – about 25,000 a year - are chronically absent.
About 83% of students who are chronically absent in kindergarten or first grade will not be able to read on-level by 3rd grade. Students who are behind in 3rd grade are four times as likely to drop out of high school. The majority of violent crimes committed by juveniles occur when they are supposed to be in school.
The County-approved money used to fund the awards came from the District Attorney’s Asset Forfeiture funds – illegal proceeds confiscated from criminals, such as drug dealers.