February 12, 2018
GHP Staff Spotlight: Meet Maria Crothers, Community Health Worker at Potter Elementary School.
Good attendance plays a critical role in a student’s academic performance. For some students at Potter Elementary, getting to school can be a challenge. That’s where Genesee Health Plan’s Community Health Worker, Maria Crothers, comes in. “We see a lot of parents that have cars, but they can’t get them fixed. Transportation is a big problem,” says Crothers. “There are a lot of students that walk because many of them don’t have a way to get to school,” she adds.
Through the Attendance/Success Mentoring Program, students and parents get the positive pressure they need to improve attendance. Crothers is part of a team behind the program that began last year that has since evolved. “When the program first started it was geared toward students with chronic absences, students who missed ten or more days for any reason,” says DeMarcus Garrett, the Attendance Agent at Potter Elementary. “The program has now shifted more toward our borderline students who are more in the gray area, starting to go in the wrong direction. We’ve seen major improvements with them,” adds Garrett.
“We’re trying to motivate them on a daily basis to get to school,” says Jesse McGraw, Community School Director. Once a week, students who have shown attendance issues, meet with their mentors during lunch. “Sometimes we do art, sometimes we read a book, or just draw a picture,” says Crothers. “They want to trust you and know that someone cares if they’re in school.” I want them to know that I’m glad they came to school. It’s important to me to make sure they’re at school and doing what they should be doing.” says Crothers.
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