United Way of Greater Cleveland celebrated the close of Attendance Awareness Month by flipping and serving our infamous pancakes breakfasts to students in 20 Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) schools on Friday, September 30.
Chosen schools are Pre-K through eighth-grade schools participating in the organization’s wraparound strategy — which places a site coordinator in some of the district’s lowest-performing schools to help students combat outside factors that may influence academic success such as attendance.
Patrick Henry school, with more than 300 students, was the main pancake flip location with volunteers from United Way and other community partners working the griddles to serve and greet students breakfast before their morning classes. Pancake flippers included United Way’s Campaign Co-Chair Heidi Gartland, vice president of government and community relations at University Hospitals, Augie Napoli, United Way’s president and CEO and Eric Gordon, CMSD CEO.
Volunteers at the other schools sat with students, helping the younger children cut their pancakes and open juice containers, while talking to older students about classes and future plans.
Jason Cole, a Nationwide Insurance employee, volunteered at Kenneth Clement Boys’ Leadership Academy and expressed his enjoyment in participating in this year’s event.
“It was definitely a good time and a meaningful experience,” he said. “It was a pleasure to meet [United Way employees] and the school’s staff and faculty, but also the children! I was really impressed with this facility.”