Walking the extra mile

Posted on:

Posted on 21/03/2023

How a principal and his wife are increasing school attendance in a small town

YouthCARE is always inspired by innovative stories shared through our extensive network of chaplains working across our state. One such story caught our attention this week, involving two of our favourite things: meeting the needs of children and dogs!

A school principal and his wife, who is a teacher in a small country town in Western Australia, have taken an innovative approach to combating truancy by improving attendance among disadvantaged students. Every morning, the couple take their dogs for a walk, stopping at the homes of students on the way to school to encourage those who due to social or economic reasons may not attend school regularly. This initiative has improved attendance rates and has had a positive impact on the children’s health and mindset.

Truancy is a significant issue worldwide, denying children vital learning opportunities that can affect their future prospects. In small country towns where resources are limited, resolving this issue effectively was challenging. However, the school principal and his wife have found a tangible approach that has worked wonders.

By taking their dogs for a morning walk, the couple engages with children and their families, building relationships and encouraging them to attend school regularly. The children are thrilled to join the couple and their dogs on the walk, and this enthusiasm has translated into improved attendance rates and school engagement.

The morning walk has also had a positive impact on the children’s health and resilience. Regular exercise and fresh air can improve mental health, cognitive function and academic performance. By walking to school each morning, the children are getting the exercise they need to start the day positively. They are also developing a positive mindset about school and education.

The initiative taken by the school principal and his wife is a fantastic example of how small changes can improve students’ lives. By taking a hands-on approach, the couple has built relationships with children and their families, making a significant impact on their tight-knit community. This approach to reducing truancy should be celebrated and could be easily replicated in other small school communities.

At YouthCARE, we love hearing stories like this school principal and his wife’s approach to combat truancy and improve attendance in their school. It is an inspiration to us all. Their morning walks have improved attendance rates and had a positive impact on the children’s health and mindset. Initiatives like these can make a significant difference in the lives of disadvantaged children, providing them with the tools they need to succeed in life.

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