MIDLAND, Ga. (WRBL)— The Muscogee County School District is celebrating Student Awareness Month by highlighting the critical role regular attendance plays in a student’s ability to succeed academically.

This campaign was first celebrated nationally in Sept. 2013. The goal is to reduce chronic absence.

“Chronic absences can be significantly reduced when schools, families, and community partners work together. We all prosper when children and youth have the opportunity to gain skills and abilities that prepare them for success in school, work, and life.”

Muscogee County School District

Teachers and staff are not the only ones promoting this message. Mathews Elementary School partnered up with the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office. Wednesday morning students caught up with some special visitors who helped teach them what this month is all about.

“Our students are hearing the importance of being in school, doing your best while they’re here, and keeping the focus on the things they need to do after they leave school; such as homework and getting a good night’s sleep, and being well prepared before they come to school so that they can do their very best,” Mathews Elementary School Principal Janice Greene shared.

Deputies with the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office stopped by the school to share one message, showing up matters. They encouraged students to attend school regularly and apply themselves both at home and in the classroom to achieve their dreams and goals.

Comm. Sgt. Larry Marshall spoke to WRBL about some of the key components students should remember.

“Our main message is about staying in school, about engaging in class. It’s about hard work and it’s about getting ready for school. It’s about doing exercise, eating right so it’s much easier to prepare yourself for that next day. It’s about listening to your parents before you go to school. It’s about listening to the teachers once you get to school. It’s about the students knowing that their law enforcement is about them, that we’re behind them 100%,” he shared.

Although Sheriff Greg Countryman could not attend Wednesday morning, his message was sent and received.

“The sheriff, Greg Countryman, this is one of the main things when he ran for office he said he wanted to be transparent, he wanted to connect back with the community, with the kids, and that’s what he does. He pushes to get out in the communities to connect with them,” Marshall informed.

This community outreach is something teachers, administration, and staff are all thankful for.

“This is wonderful children, to see that they have a community that cares about them. They have organizations that just do a number of things to try to peak their interest and get them really. In line with what they need to do to stay on track,” Greene said. “We just want our school community to understand the importance of children being here every day, giving it their very best all day long.”

After speaking with the students, the deputies opened up their gaming unit where kids were able to play with various gaming systems and connect with the local law enforcement.

Marshall says the gaming unit has been in operation for a little over a year, with visits reaching between three to five different locations a week, a part of various community outreach events.