06/21/10 — Success story: Graduation coach program deserves county and city support

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Success story: Graduation coach program deserves county and city support

You cannot argue with facts -- and the graduation coach at Goldsboro High School has plenty of facts to brag about.

This year, the students she was assigned to work with graduated -- and she also assisted many more students in the support of pursuing their high school diplomas.

And that means the Communities in Schools program is on to something.

There is a coach in the works for Southern Wayne High School this year, and if the success continues at that school, which already has an average graduation rate, this is a program that someone, somewhere ought to pursue serious grant money for so that it can be expanded to all the county's high schools.

The idea is simple, really -- work one on one with students to help them create a game plan that ends with putting a diploma in their hands.

Having someone they can talk to and plan their future with -- as well as a personal cheerleader to encourage them to reach for the stars -- gives students from difficult circumstances the support they need to dream as well as the extra push they sometimes need to make sure they stay on track.

There is no one working at a Wayne County high school who does not want to see 100 percent of the school's senior class with diplomas in their hands.

But the shortage of resources and the demands of full-time teaching and guidance jobs can sometimes keep professionals from the one-on-one work that some of these students need above and beyond what they are getting in the classroom.

The graduation coach idea is a chance to create another place for these students to turn for help, advice or inspiration. And that is invaluable.

Perhaps in the future, the program can be expanded even further  and we can start work earlier, in the middle schools. It is certainly worth a thought.

Published in Editorials on June 21, 2010 10:18 AM