DATE:  February 16, 2004
CONTACT: Dr. Linda Avila, Dean of Community Outreach, A&M-Corpus Christi, (361) 825-5746; Claudia Jackson, Assistant to the President for Communications, Del Mar College, (361) 698-1247;Vicki Hewitt, Public Affairs Manager, A&M-Corpus Christi, (361) 825-2336

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WHO:       More Than 200 Business, Education and Social Service Leaders, Parents and Students
WHAT:     Third Community Dropout Forum
WHEN:     Wednesday, Feb.. 18 from 4 to 7 p.m.
WHERE:   Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, University Center, Lone Star Ballroom
Third Community Forum on Dropout – A Rally to Action
The third community-wide forum in a series focused on strategies to lower high school dropout rates will convene at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on Wednesday, Feb. 18 from 4-7 p.m. in the University Center Lone Star Ballroom.

The forum will begin with an overview of the five best practices for keeping students in school, including: strong student relationships with parents, role models, a mentor or peers; relevant curriculum; school success; life issues, such as teen pregnancy, financial need and substance abuse; and motivation.

The more than 200 participants will be able to choose between two main action tracks for the evening. One track will form action teams made up of committed individuals willing to continue a more in-depth study of one of the best practices. The second track offers participants the opportunity to become engaged in efforts that have already proven effective in keeping youth in school. Various community programs will hold break-out sessions to orient participants in areas such as mentoring, literacy tutoring, and the teaching of life skills and goal setting.

“The dropout problem is complex, and we know we aren’t going to be able to solve it completely in the course of a few months,” said Dr. Katherine Conoly, executive director for special programs at C.C.I.S.D. “But before the evening is over, we plan to have a new crop of committed volunteers who are determined to do their part to help young people succeed, go on to college and be able to enjoy productive careers.”