Cunningham To Encourage Jersey City Students To Stay In School

Senator Sandra Cunningham listens to testimony during the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing.

JERSEY CITY – As part of the 11th annual National Legislators Go Back to School program, State Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham will launch a speaking tour next week of four schools in Jersey City in order to encourage students there to stay in school and work hard to achieve their maximum academic potential.

“It may be a cliché at this point, but I firmly believe that a solid education is key to achieving success later in life,” said Senator Cunningham, D-Jersey City. “Students in Jersey City and around the State should understand that the hard work they put in now will prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow. I look forward to meeting with the students over the next few weeks and talking with them about the important role that a good education can play in their future.”

Senator Cunningham said she would focus on the need for students to complete their public school education, noting that Jersey City has made strides in recent years to cut the drop-out rate among high school students. According to the State Department of Education, the drop-out rate for Jersey City high school students in the 2007-2008 school year was 6.2 percent, down from 8.1 percent the previous year. While the district continues to make good progress in encouraging kids to stay in school, Senator Cunningham said that there is still work to do.

“Students in Jersey City and the rest of our State’s urban centers have to recognize that opportunities do exist for them if they stay in school,” said Senator Cunningham. “I think that in many cases, higher than usual drop-out rates in our urban communities reflect a sort of hopelessness among the student body that academic success doesn’t matter. However, I can tell you that with hard work and dedication, anyone can be successful in this country.”

The lawmaker laid out her schedule of speaking engagements. She will be addressing students at special assemblies at the following schools:

• students in grades 6-8 at Joseph H. Brensinger P.S. 17 on Wednesday, October 14 from 9:00 AM to 9:30 AM;

• students at M.S. 4 on Thursday, October 15 from 9:00 AM to 9:30 AM;

• students in grades 7 and 8 at James F. Murray P.S. 38 on Tuesday, October 20 from 1:30 PM to 2:00 PM;

• and young women at the Henry Snyder High School on Monday, October 26 from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM.

“Last month, President Obama addressed the nation’s students, inspiring many to hit the books and do their best in school,” said Senator Cunningham. “I think our nation’s students need to know that their leaders are one-hundred percent behind them achieving their potential, and developing the skills they will need to be the next generation of world leaders. I’m proud to work with my fellow lawmakers around the country to promote academic excellence in our students, and encourage them to stay in school.”