Benton Harbor Schools stress enrollment campaign - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Benton Harbor Schools stress enrollment campaign

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Leaders at Benton Harbor Area Schools have a problem. More and more students are leaving the district. So now, they've come up with a unique plan. They're recruiting parents, like Shanta Watkins to go door-to-door.

"Once we started on the Benton Harbor Area Schools-excellent! I don't have any concerns," says Watkins.

She has two students in Benton Harbor Area Schools and she says she wants other parents to know why she choose to keep them there. "It really makes me extra happy to have my daughter come home 'yes mom we had a great day, I'm learning this, I'm learning that.' That's perfect and why I don't want to take her out of Benton Harbor Schools."

Enrollment Specialist Corey Bell says they need more parents like Watkins. "It's going to be very hard for Benton Harbor Schools to sustain if we continue the trend of losing students."

He says in the last 10 years, they've lost almost 50 percent of their students to surrounding schools and close to 19 million dollars in funding went with them. "It's been a steady decline, but our efforts today is to try and put a halt to that."

That's the reason for their new campaign message- "I Count. I Matter." They have a team going door-to-door to address parents' concerns and convince them to choose BHAS.

Maurice Scott, is part of the enrollment management team. He says the schools are making changes for the better and he wants parents to know that. "We're trying to make sure they realize that we are stepping forward and trying to make this the best school year and we're going to take care of their students," he says.

They're also setting up information booths at housing complexes around the community, but they need more volunteers. "Parents can be the best mouth piece for any changes," says Scott.

That's why parents like Watkins are coming forward to help spread the message of the campaign. "Whatever it takes to make a difference, I'm all for it."

The enrollment team says they will campaigning all summer long. They say the more help they can get from parents, the better. If you want to help, call the enrollment team at 269-605-2804.

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