DPS partners with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey to host Count Day Attendance Challenge; Forman Mills to donate more than 100 uniform vouchers to students in need

More Count Day activities: Parents invited to enjoy FREE breakfast and lunch with students as part of “Dine with DPS”; K-8 schools with 100% attendance will receive a FREE pizza party

DETROIT – Students and parents across Detroit Public Schools will enjoy a variety activities on Count Day, October 1, 2014, including a new Count Day Attendance Challenge, presented by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; free uniform vouchers from Forman Mills to more than 100 students who are most in  need; pizza parties and more.

DPS officials have formed strategic partnerships with organizations including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Forman Mills, and the DPS Office of School Nutrition to offer Count Day incentives that truly benefit students and parents.

“While the district stresses the importance of attendance year-round – with the implementation of a new attendance policy in 2013 and ongoing initiatives and attendance challenges at all schools – attendance on Count Day is extremely important as each student counted contributes to our per pupil funding,” said Karen Ridgeway, Superintendent of Academics for Detroit Public Schools. “We’re very fortunate to have partners including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Forman Mills and our Office of School Nutrition, who work hand-in-hand with district leaders to offer Count Day programs that our students and parents can enjoy together.”

New Count Day Attendance Challenge

All Pre-K-6 schools have been invited to participate in a Count Day Attendance Challenge presented by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, the 143rd edition of the Greatest Show on Earth. The elementary school with the highest attendance rate from Count Day, Oct. 1 through Nov. 1, will receive tickets to attend the world-renowned circus performance “Built to Amaze,” presented by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The show will feature magnificent elephants, ferocious tigers, astonishing acrobats and awe-inspiring aerialists.

Students with perfect attendance for the full month, Oct. 1-Nov. 1, will receive FREE tickets and all other students (and family members/friends) will receive discounted tickets ranging between $7-$10. Thursday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. has also been designated as DPS Night at the Circus, and students will have special access to meet circus performers. DPS will receive a $1 donation from all tickets purchased on DPS Night at the Circus using a special ticket code. The winning school will also enjoy a special in-school assembly with the Ringling Bros. circus performers to kick-off the new CircusFit Challenge Program that will soon be implemented in all DPS elementary schools.

“Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey is committed to the communities we serve. The Count Day Attendance Challenge provides the opportunity to bring the magic of the circus to all ages and strengthen our relationship with Detroit Public Schools,”  said Jamie Jakacki Valdez, Event Marketing and Sales Director of Feld Entertainment, Inc. “The CircusFit Challenge Program is another way to engage with DPS students and incorporate the sciences and physical fitness components of the Circus, and educate kids while having fun.”

The CircusFit curriculum is designed to showcase all of the physical skills and attributes Ringling Bros. performers use every day. They have to be strong, flexible, coordinated and full of energy to perform the amazing circus acts. It took years for these performers to master the extraordinary things they do.

“And, they all started out doing simple exercises that they will now share with DPS students through the CircusFit Challenge,” Valdez added.

Forman Mills Uniform Donations

Forman Mills, a long-time Detroit Public Schools partner, will donate more than 100 uniform vouchers to students in need on Count Day, October 1.

“After learning some DPS students were not attending school because they did not have uniforms, we reached out to Forman Mills to seek a donation,” said Jack Martin, Emergency Manager for Detroit Public Schools. “And they quickly agreed to help out. We don’t want any of our students to ever miss school – especially because they do not have a uniform. Having community partners like Forman Mills who genuinely want to help our students in any way possible is invaluable.”

Forman Mills has partnered with DPS on past initiatives including the district’s annual Back-to-School Campaign; Winter Enrollment Campaigns; and by generously donating uniform vouchers throughout the year to students in need.

Parents invited to “Dine with DPS”

All Detroit Public Schools’ parents are cordially invited to enjoy free breakfast and a specially-prepared lunch with their students on Count Day, October 1, 2014. As part of the district’s Count Day incentives, parents will get to experience and taste first-hand the healthy menu options made available to students daily!

Free Pizza Parties, sponsored by the DPS Office of School Nutrition

Every K-8 class with 100 percent attendance on Count Day will win a free pizza party, sponsored by the DPS Office of School Nutrition. *Parties will be scheduled with each school over coming weeks.

To learn more about Detroit Public Schools’ Attendance Policy, visit detroitk12.org/content/attendance/.

For more details on Count Day incentives, visit detroitk12.org/enroll.  

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