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Mr. Middleton,

An excellent resource on drop-outs is “The Last Dropout, Stop the Epidemic” by Bill Milliken.    Shattering the impact on our society!  You are correct, we do lose an abundance of youth due to not having a connection, nor a sense of community or their “voice” being heard.

COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS, the successful model of “the community component that will meet the nonacademic needs of our children” has been implemented throughout the United States.  Their premise is that every young person needs and deserves 1) a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult, 2) a safe place to learn and grow, 3) a healthy start and a healthy future, 4) a marketable skill to use upon graduation, and 5) a chance to give back to peers and community.

Collaborating as a community, and partnering together, resources and relationships are brought to the school campuses.  Please allow me to share three thoughts offered in “The Last Dropout.”

1)  The dropout crisis isn’t just an education issue.  It reflects a failure of adult community.

2)  Students at risk of dropping out have needs that are too pressing and too complicated for education to handle alone.  Again, a group of concerned adults must join forces with schools to meet these needs.

3)  Delivering services at the school is the critical step that adults can take, forming a community that can provide the resources kids and families need.

We have the solution.  The solution is us.  We need to step up to the plate, and do our part in service.  Collectively, as a collaboration, is how we will effect social change.

— DANA BROWN

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