New campaign helps parents track students' absences

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By Erin Kennedy By Erin Kennedy

PHOENIX -- Sick days and other reasons for school absences happen, but too many skipped days can harm a child’s education progress, said CNN Political Reporter Shannon Travis, who appeared on "Good Morning Arizona" on Friday.

The Ad Council and the U.S. Army are launching a campaign called Absences Add Up to help parents keep track of their children’s missed days of school. According to the campaign, missing 18 days or more can cause a child to fall behind.

Absences Add Up is aimed mainly at middle school children.

The campaign has a new PSA that shows how missing too many days of school can jeopardize high school graduation. The PSA shows a teacher taking attendance and calling for a fictional student who is not in class. The video goes on to show the student’s high school graduation, but the student is not at the ceremony to graduate due to his absences.

Absences Add Up is also pushing two tools to help parents track their children’s attendance. Text2Track allows parents to sign up for text messages that ask how many days of school their child missed each week. At the end of the month, parents receive a summary showing how their child’s education may be affected.

The other tool is an attendance calculator that shows parents the correlation between their child missing school and the effect it might have on their overall academic performance. 

Absences Add Up will be launched across the country and the Ad Council will be airing the PSA at 33,000 of their media outlets soon, Travis said.

For more information about Absences Add Up, visit