An unprecedented 225 middle and high schools are participating in Get Schooled’s Fall Attendance Challenge.

More than 215,000 students in 80 cities across 28 states will engage in Get Schooled’s ‘friendly competition’ to boost student and school engagement and attendance rates. The size of the Challenge reflects increased national attention on attendance, as educators and communities focus on improving student achievement and graduation rates.

To energize students and families alike, celebrity superstars One Direction, Ciara, and Rise of the Guardians star, Chris Pine have lent their voices to encourage middle and high school students to boost their attendance.

According to a 2012 study by Johns Hopkins, 7.5 million students in the United States miss a month or more of school, putting them at risk for failing to learn key skills and potentially dropping out of high school. In a Get Schooled poll of middle and high school students released last month, students said celebrities, along with parents or a trusted teacher, are most likely to get them on a path to getting to school every day.

“Schools and educators recognize we need to bring new energy and excitement to motivate students,” said Marie Groark, Executive Director of Get Schooled. “We are thrilled to have so many schools participate in our challenge and bring A-list partners on board this fall like One Direction, Ciara and Rise of the Guardians to motivate students to get to school and focus on their education.”

One Direction, the global superstar group from the UK, taped a wake up call encouraging their fans to get the education they need to reach their dreams. As a bonus, students who sign-up on GetSchooled.com to receive a wake up call will be eligible to win a school notebook signed by One Direction.

“Good Morning” the One Direction message says to students receiving the calls, “we’re not used to calling people this early, so you know this is important.”

This is Get Schooled’s fourth, and largest, attendance challenge. Last Spring, Get Schooled led a Metro Detroit Attendance Challenge in partnership with Viacom, the United Way for Southeast Michigan and Chevrolet. More than half of all schools posted attendance increases during the challenge, with the winner, Lincoln High School, posting a remarkable eight percent gain.

Get Schooled has also recruited some of the nation’s most innovative entertainment and educational gaming companies to support the Fall Attendance Challenge including Dreamworks Animation, Game House, The Jason Project, College Board, MTV and Cable in the Classroom.

Get Schooled, Dreamworks Animation and Paramount Pictures have collaborated on a series of activities designed to inspire and motivate students during this challenge.

Chris Pine, who stars in the film, has recorded a wake up call and loudspeaker announcement. Schools with the most engaged students early in the challenge have the opportunity to earn a private screening of Rise of the Guardians before its theatrical release.

The winning school – with the highest attendance gains and highest levels of engagement –earns a Celebrity Principal for the Day. Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter, Ciara, is acting as the ‘face of the challenge’. While finishing her upcoming album, One Woman Army, she is using her voice to encourage schools and students to get active in the challenge and in their education.

“Music has always been my passion, but school was always my priority”, said Ciara. “Education is the building block for everything we will do in our lives, without it, it is hard to say where any of us would be. I’m proud to be involved in a campaign that inspires and reminds today’s youth to get up, get out of bed and ‘Get Schooled!’”

The Challenge launched October 1 and runs through November 30. To see a full list of schools participating, including current leaders, in the Fall Attendance Challenge, go to www.getschooled.com.

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