ST. GEORGE — Approximately every 27 seconds in the United States, 10 students drop out of school.
The personal impact on these young dropouts is an increased risk for them to become involved in crime, live in poverty and experience poor health. Ninety percent of all potential jobs will remain out of reach for a high school dropout. And in the bigger picture, the economic impact on society is about $292,000 per student who does not complete high school.
To that end, the nonprofit School of Life Foundation has issued a challenge that organizers hope will become a viral sensation for all the right reasons … and it is way tastier than Tide Pods.
The “27 Seconds Global Challenge” was launched Saturday, Jan. 27 – keeping with the number 27 theme. It is designed to bring awareness to the life-changing program that the School of Life Foundation brings into schools and help save potential dropouts.
The mission of the foundation is to increase high school graduation rates by teaching, training, motivating and inspiring at-risk youth to reach their full potential in life and live their dreams.
Participants in the 27 Seconds Global Challenge are asked to place an Oreo cookie on their foreheads, and then they are challenged to move the cookie to their mouth in 27 seconds using only their facial muscles.
As with all challenges that organizers hope will go viral, participants are asked to post a video of themselves attempting or succeeding in the challenge and then tag three friends who they would like to join in the challenge. Participants should share the challenge webpage with their post and use the hashtag #got27.
The premise being: If you’ve got 27 seconds, you could help keep a student in school.
Participants also have the option of donating to the School of Life Foundation to help the program keep kids on a path toward high school graduation.
“We are hoping this will be a fun challenge, similar to the ‘ice bucket challenge,’ to generate enthusiasm and exposure for our program,” said School of Life Foundation founder Jack Rolfe.
Watch School of Life Foundation founder Jack Rolfe complete the challenge in the media player above
About the School of Life Foundation
School of Life is an after-school outreach program for students who are at risk of not graduating or advancing to the next grade level. The program goes into high schools and junior high schools and teaches character-based principles that let students take control of their lives and responsibility over their choices.
The principles are called “the A’s of life” which represent 10 attributes or skills – beginning with the letter ‘A’ – that organizers want the students to learn and eventually master. The program, led by certified trainers, teaches the 10 “A’s” through motivational speeches, videos and reading from a manual written by Rolfe, entitled “Learn to School Your Toughest Opponent.”
The foundation hopes to help students achieve “straight ‘A’s’ in the school of life” – a tagline which acts as the program’s motto for success.
The School of Life Foundation’s program has shown tremendous growth and success since they began implementing it into schools.
Outcome data for the 2016-17 school year from schools using the School of Life program show that participating students experienced the following impact:
- Increase in graduation rates and grade level advancement. Of those students who entered the School of Life program off track to graduate or advance, 93 percent went on to complete graduation or move into their next grade level.
- Increase in GPA scores recorded by 58 percent of the at-risk students with the average improvement being 9 percent.
- Increase in character life skills and behavior recorded by 96 percent of the at-risk students with the top five areas as follows:
- Disposition towards overall happiness.
- Disposition towards service.
- Disposition towards facing challenges.
- Disposition towards graduation.
- Disposition towards school attendance.
See outcome data from previous school year’s here.
School of Life’s program has recently been recognized by the University of Utah’s department of education, Rolfe said. The university plans to study the foundation’s data to help shape the program for additional success.
The program is currently being implemented in eight school districts in Utah, Rolfe said. And the foundation hopes to grow both regionally and nationally.
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