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Anti-Truancy Outreach Program

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Galesburg schools are tackling truancy. It's hard to skip class when teachers make house-calls.

When the school day started at Churchill Junior High in Galesburg, five students did not show up for class. School office employees made phone calls home and three students showed up late. But two of them were truant.

Brad Mowen is a truancy outreach counselor with the Galesburg School District --

"Why is she not in school, do you know?" Thursday, Mowen knocked on someone's door and asked them why their child didn't show up to school.

Mowen said he does everything he can to make sure students are going to class. He has an office full of school supplies, back packs, gloves, even coats.

"It's getting cold this time of year and a lot of times that can be a reason why students aren't coming to school because they have to walk a mile to school but they don't have a coat."

Almost any excuse a student gives for not being able to show up for school, Brad has a solution. And it's making a huge difference.

"They have been able to go out and visit the homes, get the kids here, and find out why the kid hasn't been attending school, which is usually the underlying problem."

The boost in attendance is showing on report cards, too.

8th grader, Justin Timmons, owes his good grades to guidance from Mowen --

"In 6th grade my grades were C's and D's, in 7th grade it was all F's, now in 8th grade it's all A's and B's."

Mowen used to drive Timmons to school when he missed the bus.

Outreach counselors within the district say all it takes is a knock on the door to get to the root of the problem.

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