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Cleveland Browns Foundation and Arby’s Partner to Keep Kids in School

American students are missing more and more days of school. In fact, more than 8 million students are missing so many days of school, they are academically at risk, according to Attendance Works. This has translated into a variety of setbacks for students, including lack of mastered skills, failed subjects and dropping out of school.

The issue of chronic absenteeism has become a growing concern in the United States. In Ohio alone, more than 260,000 students were chronically absent in 2018.

Working to solve this issue in Ohio is the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and Cleveland Browns Foundation’s Get 2 School, Stay in the Game program. In partnership with other like-minded organizations, the program implements innovative and creative initiatives to encourage attendance.

Since 2015, the Arby’s Foundation has been instrumental in supporting the program, lending assistance ranging from monthly lunch rewards to food vouchers during the summer months. This year, the Arby’s Foundation continued its focus on assisting America’s youth in career readiness with a $100,000 grant to support the Get 2 School, Stay in the Game initiative as part of the Make a Difference campaign’s local grants program.

“Arby’s contributions, along with those of the Cleveland Browns Foundation, have been critical to the success of our district attendance campaign,” Eric Gordon, Chief Executive Officer of CMSD, said. “This grant takes that involvement even further, helping us dig deeper into the reasons why children are frequently absent from school and find ways to overcome barriers.” 

The Get 2 School Network is designed to connect its users to each other, state and national experts and high-quality attendance-focused campaign materials, strategies and evaluation tools to all Ohio school districts at no cost.  

This grant is just one of more than 250 local grants given out by the Arby’s Foundation as part of the Make a Difference campaign – the Foundation’s in-restaurant fundraising initiative. Restaurants across the country raised more than $6 million in 2019 to fund non-profit organizations supporting youth-centric initiatives in their communities, along with national non-profit partners, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, No Kid Hungry and Junior Achievement 

Giving back is very important to me and my team,” Melissa Howard, Sr. Director of Operations at Arby’s, said. “The organizations we are able to help do not receive much funding, so through our fundraising efforts, we can make a huge impact.”  

Since it’s inception in 1986, the Arby’s Foundation has donated more than $90 million to youth-serving organizations focused on childhood hunger, youth leadership and career readiness. For more information, visit 

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