For Immediate Release
October 8, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

State's Dropout Prevention Efforts Host Regional Pre-Summits

Kansas DropINs, a collaborative dropout prevention effort led by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), recently hosted eight regional pre-summit conversations in preparation for the state’s Dropout Prevention Summit on October 20 in Wichita.

“The major objective of Kansas DropINs is to develop a comprehensive action plan to prevent over 3,000 young Kansans that are dropping from school each year,” said KDHE Secretary Roderick Bremby.  “The regional pre-summit conversations were the first step towards this goal, allowing us to bring to light the challenges and needs unique to each region of the state.”

More than 225 participants, including educators, business members, elected officials, community members and 30 youth, attended the pre-summit conversations held in Chanute, Clearwater, Colby, Garden City, Lawrence, Kansas City, Salina and Wichita.

While each conversation highlighted issues unique to a region, several statewide themes were identified: the need to approach dropout prevention as a community issue versus simply a school problem; stronger collaboration between all youth-serving organizations and parents; and better engagement of the business community to provide real-world opportunities such as job shadowing, classroom speakers, and internships.

The main summit will begin to tackle these issues by sharing promising practices of Kansas’ current dropout prevention efforts.  Registration for the summit is $15 per adult participant and free for youth under 21 years of age.  Interested Kansans can register online at www.KansasDropINs.org or by contacting Jessica Noble at 785-296-1521.

The Kansas Dropout Prevention Summit is funded through a grant received by the America’s Promise Alliance and a generous donation by State Farm Insurance.  Kansas DropINs is also appreciative of the support and contribution of several Kansas legislators spearheaded by Representative Bob Bethell.  For a complete list of sponsors visit the Kansas DropINs website at www.kansasdropins.org.