Program aims to raise graduation rates across SWVA

BRISTOL, Va. - Southwest Virginia is banding together to increase graduation rates across the region.

School and community leaders kicked off the Communities in Schools of Southwest Virginia program in Bristol, Virginia Thursday.

We learned the organization will help at-risk children in schools across the region by bringing in trained adults and volunteers into a student's life and helping them access resources they need, so they can focus on education.

Superintendent of Bristol, Virginia schools Mark Lineburg told us that with a graduation rate of 83.6 percent, they need this help. "We are a high-poverty school district and our graduation rate has long been a challenge for us. It's improving, and we hope this is going to be a big part of getting us over the hump," said Mark Lineburg.

Over the past seven months, Communities in Schools of Southwest Virginia has been coordinating with existing programs; so far, 1,200 students have already received some sort of help from the program.

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