DES MOINES, Iowa – About 350 Des Moines Public Schools staff members and volunteers participated in the Graduation Walk Saturday.
The goal of the walk is to talk with students who have dropped out or who are at risk, and encourage them to re-enroll and finish high school.
"That's our mission,” said Richard Blonigan, Principal of Scavo High School. “That is what Des Moines Public School’s purpose and mission is to do. Graduate students and prepare them for life after high school.”
Volunteers and staff members were able to visit close to 1,000 students Saturday.
They say it's important to reach out to students who are struggling and find a solution.
"We saw the graduation rates and obviously we wanted to do something about it,” said Mary Sellers, President of United Way of Central Iowa. “And we do things early on in a student's career, but this was one way by reaching out to those who have dropped out to say come back to school. There are non-traditional ways that you might not know of that you can still accomplish your high school diploma."
The district is seeing some success. Since the Graduation Walk started seven years ago, graduation rates have risen.