Keeping children behind their school desks

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 18, 2015

A study done by The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation found that a student drops out of school every 26 seconds in the United States.

In this day and age, education is increasingly more important. People need at least a high school diploma to become eligible for most jobs. Without education, many will have a difficult time finding employment.

Eryka Perry, the foundation’s representative, told the Item that eight out of 10 high school dropouts end up behind bars.

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While there are many reasons why children choose to drop out of school, it’s important that students are educated and encouraged to stay in school.

Recently, students from Poplarville Middle School boarded The Choice Bus, an educational tool used by the foundation to help the country address the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate. The Choice Bus is an old school bus that’s been converted into a half-prison cell, half-classroom that visually portrays what life could be like for students who choose to either stay in school or drop out.

Within the bus, students got the chance to walk through a full-scale replica of a jail cell and see what could happen if they decide to drop out of school.

During the presentation, Perry told the students many inmates who dropped out of school gave up on their dreams.

Every child grows up dreaming about perhaps becoming a firefighter or a ballerina, which is why it’s important to teach children their dreams matter and education is the key to those dreams becoming a reality.

The Item would like to acknowledge the foundation and Bobby Weathersby of Poplarville State Farm for partnering together with Poplarville Middle School to educate local students in hopes that one day the dropout rate will be nonexistent.