May 10th, 2012
New York Launches “School Every Day NYC” Ad Campaign
New York City’s new ad campaign aims to alert parents to the consequences of chronic absenteeism. And it directs parents to a website where they can find government and nonprofit resources, borough by borough, to help them get their kids to school every day.
“Chronic absenteeism is often a child’s first step down the wrong path in life,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference today. “Many parents and guardains either don’t recognize the serious consequences of chronic absenteeism or don’t know what to do about it.”
The “School Every Day NYC” ad campaign builds on the work of Bloomberg’s Task Force on Truancy and Chronic Absenteeism, which has already seen improvements in attendance at its 50 pilot schools. The task force’s work combines public awareness–through celebrity wake-up calls and the new ads–with a mentoring program for at-risk students. (So far, students with mentors have attended 11,820 more days than similar students without help.) Businesses and community organizations are also working to improve attendance in targeted schools. The $9 million ad campaign was created chiefly by in-kind services and donations.
The mayor also announced a partnership with libraries across the city to combat chronic absence. Library staff will be trained to help parents access the on-line help center, and four times a year the city Department of Education staff will also meet parents in libraries to connect them to the information.
The ads direct viewers to text “school” to 30364. Parents will then receive the website address and access to attendance information on their children and help centers. These centers will serve all parents, providing information on their children’s attendance and linking them to city agencies, as needed. Parents can also call 311, where operators can connect parents to computerized attendance information and can direct them to government resources.
The ad campaign, launched in collaboration with the Ad Council, is expected to reach millions of New Yorkers, with a special focus on ads placed in communities with high rates of chronic absenteeism. The ads will be placed on 500 bus shelters, 50 newsstands, 5 million Metro Cards and other ad spaces. They expect to distribute 3,000 posters and 40,000 palm cards this spring, with another wave in the fall.
The campaign is valued at $9 million, including pro bono creative production from the Publicis New York advertising campaign and free ad space in subway platforms and bus interiors donated by MTA. AT&T support the project with a $250,000 grant.