Read To Grow JoCo Hosts “Attendance Matters” Poster Contest

Local Campaign for Grade Level Reading Aims to Decrease Chronic Absenteeism

JOHNSTON COUNTY – Did you know that absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year? Half the students who miss 2-4 days in September go on to miss nearly a month of school. In honor of September being Attendance Awareness month, Read to Grow Johnston County is sponsoring the first annual “Attendance Matters” poster contest for Elementary School age children across Johnston County. This includes JCPS, Private Schools, Charter Schools and Home Schoolers.

Poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade or be held back. By 6th grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school. Research shows that missing 10 percent of the school year, or about 18 days in most school districts, negatively affects a student’s academic performance. That’s only two days a month and that’s considered chronic absence. Students who live in communities with high levels of poverty are four times more likely to be chronically absent than others often for reasons beyond their control, such as unstable housing, unreliable transportation and a lack of access to health care. When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating.

Students are encouraged to submit a poster highlighting “Why Attendance Matters”. The top poster from each grade and school category will be shared on Read to Grow’s social media, made into large posters and recognized in a press release. Each winner will also receive a gift basket full of items to help reinforce the importance of school attendance.

Click here for more information.

Together Johnston County can work towards improved student attendance! Chronic student absenteeism is a problem as early as kindergarten and preschool. By helping families build the habit of attendance in the early grades through routines, we can help families influence their children’s chances of graduating from high school.


Read to Grow Johnston County joined the National Campaign for Grade Level Reading in June 2021. Read to Grow consists of a wide variety of community members including business leaders, faith community members, families, Partnership for Children of Johnston County (PFCJC), My Kids Club, Johnston County Public Schools (JCPS), and JCPS Board of Education. As a collaborative group, Read to Grow Johnston County is working hard to connect resources, develop initiatives, and achieve the targets and milestones set to impact the 3 pillars of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR), kindergarten readiness, chronic absenteeism, and summer learning loss.

Read to Grow’s members are passionate about the success of all children and their families in Johnston County. They understand that for our communities to survive and thrive, children need to be reading on grade level, interventions need to start early and be sustainable, and most importantly, children cannot do this alone. The Campaign supports a whole-child approach, including addressing the needs of the family and other factors that impact a child outside of a school classroom.

For more information or to get involved contact Heather Machia at 919-975-2511.

(Partnership for Children of Johnston County News Release)