Challenge 5

Strive for Less than 5 Days Absent at School

On any given day, some students are missing school. They might be sick, couldn’t get a ride, or maybe mom and dad scheduled a vacation. It doesn’t matter if absences are back to back, far apart, unexcused, or excused. Missing a day adds up quickly.

Missing 18 days of school per year make a child chronically absent.

  • More than 8 in 10 chronically absent kindergartners and first graders will not read at grade level by the end of third grade.
  • 3 out of 4 chronically absent sixth graders will never graduate high school.

Quad Cities School Districts and United Way are teaming up for the Challenge 5 initiative. Studies show that fewer than 5 absences in a year keeps learning on track.

5 Tips

  1. Set a regular bedtime.
  2. Prep clothes and backpacks the night before.
  3. Only keep children home if they are truly sick.
  4. Have a back-up plan for getting to school.
  5. Avoid scheduling doctor’s appointments and trips during school hours.

Questions? Contact Alex Kolker at 563.344.0339.


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United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in the Quad Cities.