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Milford Beacon
  • Milford students learn importance of education with Choice Bus visit

  • Students involved in the Milford School District Communities in Schools program were presented some options Wednesday afternoon when a visit from the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation Choice Bus illustrated the options for a future without a completed high school education.
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  • Students involved in the Milford School District Communities in Schools program were presented some options Wednesday afternoon when a visit from the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation Choice Bus illustrated the options for a future without a completed high school education.
    In conjunction with the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation and State Farm, the national Communities in Schools program has partnered with these organizations to boost its anti-dropout program, which provides students with after school programming to help with behavioral and academic issues, as well as mentorship.
    “Mentorship is the biggest,” explained Communities in Schools of Delaware Site Director Jen Bostic. “Some kids might not have the support at home, so we try to give that to them. A lot of it is anger and behavior, so we encourage them to make positive choices.”
    According to the Choice Bus presentation on March 5, 75 percent of inmates are high school drop outs, a statistic that is highlighted with the bus’s built-in jail cell, which students toured as part of the presentation.
    A few students who participated in the first tour of the bus seemed shocked at the size, but had some knowledge of prison life from experience with jailed parents.
    But after watching a video filled with testimonials from inmates whose paths led them to incarceration, the students on the bus voiced their beliefs that the draw of earning more money by graduating from high school and the possible career paths opened by earning a diploma outweigh the risks associated with dropping out or failing to graduate.
    Jordan Passwaters, a 12-year-old seventh grader at Milford Central Academy, said the presentation taught him and his classmates the importance of staying in school.
    “[People] won’t look up to you if you drop out. They won’t think well of you,” Passwaters said. “You could end up living on the streets, in shelters and have no rights or privileges if you end up in jail.”
    While the 12 year old still has a ways to go, he said that he wants to become a police officer when he grows up, and has a back-up plan to attain a marketing degree if his ideal career path doesn’t work out. While Passwaters said he’s never considered dropping out, he said he’s heard classmates talk about giving up on school.
    James Lawsche, a Choice Bus driver and retired Alabama school teacher, said he often sees an attitude change from the time before students check out the bus and when they step off.
    “You can see it started making them think a little bit, and that’s what we want to do,” Lawsche said. “We hope to leave an impression.”

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