Pathways coach organizes 'telethon' to boost student attendance and funding for Pontiac schools

Pontiac Telethon Workers Take Calls

An innovative idea by a Pathways to Potential success coach recently helped the Pontiac School District land an extra $90,000 in funding because of higher student attendance.

To boost student attendance that day for Whitman Elementary School, Michelle Peguese, an MDHHS success coach, organized a "Count Day Telethon" after pitching the idea to the school principal. Count Day is an annual day that measures student attendance to establish state funding levels.

Before Count Day, she recruited parents and community volunteers to call the homes of absent students that day and developed slips to be filled out by teachers for absent students that morning and returned to Peguese.

That's when the hard work began. That same day, Peguese and four volunteers began making calls to the homes of the 19 students reported absent. They spoke to parents and guardians about the importance of their child's school attendance every day, the impact absences have on their child's school success and the funding impact the absences have on the district for this specific day.

Each child counted that day resulted in $7,500 in funding for the Pontiac School District.

As a result of the team calls, 12 of the 19 students reported absent came to school in enough time to be counted as present for the day. This helped the school district obtain an additional $90,000 in district funding, which will be used for educational efforts in the district.

Due to its success, Peguese is planning to hold this event every year and is encouraging Pathways success coaches to adopt the model.

Michelle Peguese, congratulations on a job well done!

Pictured above is Michelle Peguese (in red) and four volunteers making calls to parents during "Count Day."