Community Groups Join Forces To Increase Enrollment In City Schools

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Local community leaders and organizations are teaming up to grow our neighborhood schools and expand opportunities for students.

The new program is a door knocking campaign to encourage families to send their children to public schools.

“We want to rise, and that is what we are doing, and taking that responsibility as we fight the federal budget cuts,” said Randi Weingarten, with the American Federation of Teachers.

To boost a dwindling student population, Baltimore Teachers Union, the American Federation of Teachers, Baltimore Public Schools, the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office, First Book, and McDonald’s are teaming up to focus on enrollment efforts.

“We are looking forward to new families coming in. Pre-k families, families of re-engaged students, we see this as the beginning of a major campaign,” said CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools Dr. Sonya Santelises.

The campaign is called Baltimore Schools for Baltimore Students: Bringing Back Baltimore One Child at a Time (B3) campaign.

“All of us working together will make a difference for our city and future of our children,” said Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh.

40 teachers and paraprofessionals have been selected to canvass neighborhoods recruiting students.

“This community is saying, ‘Wait a second, we can’t just fight the bad things. We got to take responsibility ourselves for what we know we need to do for our children,'” Weingarten said.

An innovative program to also help with the schools’ budget crisis, since education funding is based on student population.

“Not only do we want to make sure that we know where they are and get back to school, we want to make sure they are involved in really positive behavior,” Pugh said.

An initiative to ensure a brighter future for Baltimore’s next generation.

The recruiters will canvass neighborhoods Monday through Saturday for five weeks, with extra help from community leaders on the weekend hours.

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