Arby’s Foundation donates $100,000 to Cleveland Browns Foundation’s “Get 2 School, Stay in the Game” Network, CMSD attendance campaign (12.10.19)

For Immediate Release
December 10, 2019

Arby’s Foundation’s contribution highlights Browns, Get 2 School visit at CMSD’s Mound STEM School

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Furthering its dedication to helping kids dream big, the Arby’s Foundation today presented Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) with $100,000 as part of their local grants program in support of the Cleveland Browns Foundation’s “Get 2 School, Stay in the Game!” Network, a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism.

The Arby’s Foundation presented the contribution to CMSD and the Cleveland Browns Foundation today during a special Browns’ Get 2 School visit at Mound STEM School. The Browns and RB Kareem Hunt joined students for interactive classroom activities, as well as an Arby’s lunch and surprise ice cream social.

Inspired by previous work within the attendance space and evident results from CMSD’s efforts, the Arby’s Foundation is proud to assist Cleveland youth with enhanced educational opportunities by providing resources that will help students get to school every day so they can succeed.

“Our local grants program helps to ensure that children in communities across the nation, including Cleveland, have the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Executive Director of the Arby’s Foundation Stuart Brown. “We are thrilled to be able to once again support the Cleveland Browns Foundation and CMSD by investing critical funds for such a significant cause.”

Since the inception of CMSD’s and the Cleveland Browns Foundation’s attendance campaign in 2015, the Arby’s Foundation has been instrumental in its support for the initiative, lending assistance ranging from monthly lunch rewards as an attendance incentive to providing students with food vouchers during the summer months. The Cleveland Browns Foundation and Arby’s Foundation selected CMSD as the donation’s beneficiary, honoring the district’s exemplary commitment to keeping kids in school and creating a framework for other districts to model to promote student attendance and overall achievement.

“Arby’s contributions, along with those of the Cleveland Browns Foundation, have been critical to the success of our district attendance campaign,” CMSD Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon. “This grant takes that involvement even further, helping us to dig deeper into the reasons why children are frequently absent from school and find ways to overcome barriers.”

The primary goal of the Get 2 School Network is to raise awareness and provide school districts with tools to support strong student attendance and combat chronic absenteeism. Students who are absent from school miss important learning opportunities, which can be difficult, or even impossible to make up. In fact, chronically absent students – defined as missing 10 percent of the school year or about 18 instructional days – are 89 percent less likely to graduate on time from high school.

Absences can build up quietly, and students that miss just two days a month over a nine-month school year are identified as chronically absent. The link between attendance and student success inspired the launch of the statewide Get 2 School Network. Through the Arby’s Foundation donation, the network will continue working with CMSD to uncover and address additional barriers to attendance, furthering the development of engaged, academically confident learners.

“We are incredibly grateful for the Arby’s Foundation’s generosity and its continued support of Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Get 2 School Network,” said Vice President of the Cleveland Browns Foundation Renee Harvey. “Arby’s has consistently championed the importance of Cleveland students through the attendance campaign, and this contribution will greatly assist our partnership in identifying and removing barriers that affect students’ ability to attend school and ultimately succeed in the classroom.”

The Cleveland Browns Foundation first prioritized student attendance in 2015 when it developed a partnership with CMSD, which at the time was facing a 35 percent chronic absentee rate. In an effort to remove attendance-related barriers, the Foundation also supported a local clothing program, supplying students facing economic hardship greater access to uniforms and basic clothing packages. The campaign and attendance interventions helped CMSD cut chronic absenteeism to 30 percent in the 2017-2018 school year. Additionally, the Foundation recently supported a transportation project in CMSD to help the district improve the transparency and efficiency of getting students to school.

The Get 2 School Network is designed to connect its users to each other, state and national experts and high-quality attendance-focused campaign materials, strategies and evaluation tools. The Network’s backbone is its website, Get2School.org, which is available to all Ohio schools and districts at no cost.

The Network’s goal is to increase student attendance, particularly among specific groups of students, such as African American, Hispanic, English learners, economically disadvantaged and students with disabilities. The Network believes that student success begins with engaged learners who attend school each day.

An identified set of school districts, known as action districts, currently receive additional supports and resources, affecting approximately 66,000 students. Through these resources, districts are able to launch comprehensive community campaigns to raise awareness regarding the importance of school attendance, use data to target specific attendance-related intervention efforts for maximum impact, analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of specific interventions, and refine attendance-related solutions across these school districts. Over time, all learnings from these improvement efforts are shared broadly across the Network, benefiting all participating schools and districts.

For more information about the Get 2 School Network, visit Get2School.org.

About the Arby’s Foundation:
The Arby’s Foundation, the independent charitable arm of Arby’s, helps America’s kids dream big and pursue their dreams with confidence. Building on a philanthropic heritage that has contributed more than $90 million to youth-related causes since its inception in 1986, the Arby’s Foundation is committed to helping kids build, expand and pursue their dreams as we focus our efforts in childhood hunger, youth leadership and career readiness initiatives. The Arby’s Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit foundation.arbys.com.

About the Cleveland Browns Foundation and Get 2 School, Stay in the Game! Network:
To help Ohio families, schools and community partners tackle chronic absenteeism, a team of unique partners – the Cleveland Browns Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Harvard University’s Proving Ground – joined forces at the state level to launch the Get 2 School, Stay in the Game! Network. The Get 2 School Network’s singular aim is to enable student success beginning with engaged learners who attend school every day. To learn more visit, Get2school.org.

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