Newark Public High School Leadership Team and Devils Youth Foundation Partner to Fight Chronic Absenteeism at School

Program To Recognize and Reward Students Who Increase Attendance Rates at Four Newark High Schools

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[NEWARK, NJ (January 10, 2023)] The Devils Youth Foundation, which serves as the charitable arm for the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center, announced a partnership program with Newark Public High School Leadership Team to help students who struggle with attendance or are chronically absent from the city’s high schools. The primary focus is to raise attendance numbers of children in participating schools, a consistent concern in the education community, via positive messages, motivation, and incentives.

The program will run from January 2023 through June 2023 in four Newark High Schools – Barringer, Central, Malcolm X Shabazz and Weequahic High School – which educate 3,400 students combined. To launch the initiative, the Newark Public High School Leadership Team and the Devils Youth Foundation have teamed up to provide students with exciting rewards for achieving attendance goals, including Amazon gift cards and tickets to select Devils home games.

Each month, ten students from each school will be selected as winners, along with one student from each school who achieves perfect attendance in that month.  Additionally, a grand prize winner will receive a “Choose Your Own Adventure at Prudential Center,” which includes a 16-person catered suite to any mutually agreed upon Prudential Center event (game, concert or family show).

Newark Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Maria Ortiz, states, “Newark Board of Education and Devils Youth Foundation partner to fight chronic absenteeism.  In our community, we work collaboratively to encourage, motivate, and inspire our students, families, and staff. The message is not only that we are attentive to communal needs, but invested in working together and responsive to our children. We are looking forward to all of our students arriving to school every day and on time.”

“We created this program with Newark to immediately address chronic absenteeism in our high schools and, in the long-term, to address the core issues students are facing that contribute to them missing school,” said Kate Whitman Annis, Executive Director of the Devils Youth Foundation. “This working partnership continues the Devils Youth Foundation’s mission to support organizations that focus on positively impacting youth in New Jersey.”

This groundbreaking endeavor aims to increase attendance at the participating schools by 2%. At the end of the school year, students will sit down with Newark Public High School Leadership Team and the Devils Youth Foundation to discuss what motivated them for consistency and accountability while providing a foundation to expand the program’s impact in the future.

The Newark Public Schools is the largest school district in New Jersey and dates back to 1676.  The district currently enrolls over 38,000 students in 62 schools.  After more than two decades of state operation and upon return to local control in 2018, the district has opened 8 new schools under Superintendent León’s leadership with an additional portfolio of new options to be announced in the coming years.

Devils Youth Foundation (DYF), a 501(c)(3) organization, enriches the lives of New Jersey’s youth by creating life-changing opportunities and inspiring youth in our communities through the power of sports and entertainment. The Foundation addresses issues such as food insecurities, health and wellness, safe places to play, learn, and grow, and diversity and inclusion by creating and expanding youth programming through strategic partnerships with community organizations. The Devils Youth Foundation raises funds for the organizations and initiatives it supports through signature fundraising events like Devils Sweep the Deck Gala, Martin Brodeur’s “MB30” Charity Golf Invitational as well as on-going and seasonal online auctions including autographed jerseys, helmets and one-of-a-kind experiences, branded merchandise and apparel sales. For more information go or find us on Instagram at @devilsyouthfoundation.