Whether it’s football, medicine or law school, Browns rookie wide receiver Damion Ratley says the importance of school attendance is pivotal.

“I think if you want to go anywhere in this world and be successful,” he said, “you have to go to school.”

That’s why Ratley, kicker Greg Joseph, cornerbacks Howard Wilson and Tavierre Thomas visited Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Case Elementary School to deliver “Special Teams Packages” to the students, bags full of school supplies, clothes and other items that so many take for granted.

“It was great to see (the players) interact with the students not only from the activities and how excited they were, but then I think the real special part about it was when the players were able to deliver the Special Teams Packages,” said Tracy Jemison, the board chairman of Shoes and Clothes for Kids.

A long-standing partner of Browns Give Back, Shoes and Clothes for Kids is the only non-profit organization in Greater Cleveland that provides new school uniforms, shoes, clothes and school supplies through the year to thousands of children in need at no charge.

The purpose of the partnership is provide resources and eliminate barriers to foster positive learning environments for all students. Entering its third year, Browns Give Back has funded a total of 6,000 Special Teams Packages to CMSD students in an effort to remove clothing as a barrier to getting to school. Through the initiative, SC4K expects to serve 2,000 students by the end of the first semester to help provide resources and eliminate barriers to foster positive learning environments for all students.

CMSD tracks attendance for students who receive a “Special Teams Package” as part of the “Get 2 School, You Can Make It!” campaign to record the impact of new clothing on school attendance. Through its research, CMSD learned students who are chronically absent are linked to lower academic performance and graduation rates and is striving to improve overall attendance through the campaign, along with the support of the Browns and SC4K.

Shoes and Clothes for Kids is a long-standing partner of Browns Give Back. SC4K is the only non-profit organization in Greater Cleveland providing new school uniforms, shoes, clothes and school supplies throughout the year to thousands of children in need at no charge. Shoes and Clothes for Kids, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Browns Give Back work together to provide uniforms, clothing, shoes and school supplies to Cleveland students. These necessary items will be distributed to students in need and identified by CMSD. The initiative supports the “Get 2 School., You Can Make It!” attendance campaign and has helped reduce absences by up to 25 percent.

The Cleveland Browns are a signature partner for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s “Get 2 School, You Can Make It!” attendance campaign. The Browns work hand in hand with CMSD to help solve the problem and remove barriers of students being chronically absent from school, which is defined as missing 10 percent of a school year for any reason. Studies show that for CMSD students, missing even 10 days of school has a significant negative impact on test scores and puts students at risk for not graduating. Since the inception of ‘Get 2 School’ attendance campaign, the District has reduced the number of off-track students by nearly 22%. This means over 4,100 students improved their attendance habits compared to the baseline average and are on the path to success in both school and life.

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