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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Daily Good Gossip

The Get Schooled Foundation has announced that Victoria Justice, Brandy, Big Sean, Sean Paul, Terrence J and Rocsi have signed onto the Wake Up and Get Schooled campaign aimed at encouraging students to set a goal of getting to school every day.

These artists join the ranks of celebrities like Tyra Banks, Ne-Yo, Nicki Minaj, and Wiz Khalifa who have lent their voice in this national campaign to reduce high school drop outs and raise high school graduation rates.

In addition to waking up thousands of young people with a recorded “get out of bed” message, Victoria Justice will recognize the students who are working toward the goal of improving their attendance. By signing up for a wake up call, young people are automatically entered into the “Wake Up with Victoria Justice” sweepstakes. The winner will receive a special pre-taped personal message, and an autographed “all day every day” Get Schooled t-shirt.

“Success requires focus, drive and determination, whether you are striving to get ahead in academics, the music business or life itself,” said Victoria Justice. “I am excited to partner with Get Schooled to encourage more students to wake up and get to school every day with renewed focus and motivation.”

Every year one out of every three high school students will fail to graduate from high school with their classmates – putting them on a path to poverty, unemployment and hardship. There is no greater predictor of high school graduation rates than attendance rates. Studies show that students with more than 10 absences in a school year risk falling behind. Students with more than 20 absences have only a one-in-five chance of graduating.

The wake up calls have also been integrated into Boost Nation, a microsite developed by the US Army and Ad Council’s high school dropout prevention BoostUp campaign in collaboration with State Farm and America’s Promise Alliance’s 26 Seconds BMOR campaign. This site enables people to create videos and written messages of support for students to let students around the country know that people care about them. LeBron James was one of the first to share a message of support on this site.

“We are delighted to team up with the Get Schooled Foundation to expand their wake up program to give students a boost in the morning from celebrities they admire,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “These critical wake up calls are part of our overall effort to demonstrate to students that there are people that support and believe in them so they will stay in school and graduate.”

The pre-recorded messages, running throughout the school year until June 2012, stress the importance of getting up and going to school every day. Over 20,000 students from all over the country have signed up for the wake up calls since September. Schools across the country have encouraged their students to participate as a way to boost attendance.

“We had more than half of our students sign up for wake up calls in one week,” said Cynthia Martin, teacher at the Osborn Upper School of Global Communications in Detroit, Michigan. "They couldn’t believe that Big Sean was actually calling them. It was so much fun to walk into the building and have the kids excited about the wake up calls. They were ALL talking about it and the students that had not signed up yet were anxious to get involved. It really seemed to make an impression and motivate them to get to school on time.

Marie Groark, Executive Director of the Get Schooled Foundation, said, “We have received such a positive response from students and the statistics say it all – the wake up calls are making an impact. It is so exciting to have even more star power help us get kids to school every day.”

In addition, celebrities who have already signed on include Baron Davis, Ciara, Cappie Pondexter, Greyson Chance, Jesse McCartney, Kimora Lee Simmons, Mac Miller, Marlon Wayans, Mindless Behavior, Pooch Hall, Trey Songz, and Swizz Beatz. Additional celebrities are continuing to record wake up calls each week. To see a full list of participating artists, go to

In addition to the wake up calls, the Get Schooled Foundation is supporting broad efforts around the country to engage students in their education, encourage parents to support that engagement, and build school cultures where missing classes is not an option.

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