Reconnect Campaign gets kids back in school

Reconnect Campaign gets kids back in school

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by Katherine Cook, KGW Reporter

kgw.com

Posted on September 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Updated Saturday, Sep 14 at 9:21 AM

PORTLAND -- A special program in the Portland Public School District is trying to bring kids who've dropped out of school, back into the classroom. It's called "Reconnect."

Last June, 16-year-old-Sebastian Rojas received a visit from Dennis Fournier, the district's Community School Outreach Coordinator.

"He just knocked on my door and asked me if was going to consider coming back to school," said Rojas. "At first I was against it because I really didn't want to go back."

Fournier was persistent and after three more house calls, Rojas, reconsidered. He's now a junior at Rosemary Anderson Alternative High School, where he's thriving.

"I've discovered that if I try, then it's not that hard if I just pay attention," said Rojas.

"We have an obligation to our community... to make sure that are kids are afforded an education," said Fournier, who has continued to mentor Rojas.

"(Fournier) has a great job and career," said Rojas. "He got that from working hard and that's just what I want to do."

On Saturday, Fournier and other district officials planned to visit more than 300 homes of students across the district, who'd been missing class. They also planned to help families get connected to social services, like food stamps, if they needed them.

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