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The Stay in the Game! Attendance Network (SITG!) Adds New Partner

SITG! Welcomes FC Cincinnati

Stay In The Game! Keep Learning, Every Day

BEREA, Ohio – The Stay in the Game! Attendance Network (SITG!) is excited to welcome FC Cincinnati. By joining the Network, FC Cincinnati will partner with the Cleveland Browns Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Workforce, Harvard’s Proving Ground and the Columbus Crew to support Ohio districts and schools in dramatically improving attendance. Now, all districts across Ohio will have a local team to support their efforts for the 2024-25 school year. Interested districts should visit to learn more about the program and apply to join. The deadline to join the Network is March 15, 2024.The Network aims to have 90% of all Ohio students attending school more than 90% of the time by 2030.

“We’re thrilled to be joining the Stay in the Game! Attendance Network, partnering with other organizations to support student success,” said Kate Solomon, SVP, Youth & Community Engagement, FC Cincinnati and Executive Director, FC Cincinnati Foundation. “FCC Foundation has a proven track record of supporting young students through our Learning Is Cool program. Participating in SITG! will enable FCC Foundation to further our mission of improving the lives of children through soccer.”

In Ohio, students who have never been chronically absent are 6.7 times more likely to read on grade level by the end of third grade and 9 times more likely to graduate from high school on time. With Ohio’s current rate of chronic absenteeism at 26.8%, there is a clear need for Ohio families, schools, and community partners to tackle this problem together.

Recognizing this urgent issue, the Cleveland Browns Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Workforce, and Harvard University’s Proving Ground joined forces at the state level in 2019 to introduce the Stay in the Game! Attendance Network with the aim of improving student success through attendance. For the last five years, the Stay in the Game! Attendance Network has worked tirelessly to reduce chronic absenteeism rates by supporting districts in developing localized attendance campaigns and providing tools to improve student attendance. These tools include the online Campaign Playbook, recognition for improvement and incentives, such as personalized postcards, video messages, classroom visits from players and mascots, and community projects like football field and mini pitch installments, all with the goal of getting students excited about attending school and learning.

As a result of this work, during the 2022-2023 school year SITG! districts lowered their chronic absenteeism by 5.2%, according to the 2022-2023 Ohio State Report Card, compared to 3.4% for districts statewide. SITG! significantly outperformed the state with 41% of SITG! districts lowering chronic absenteeism by 8.5-10.9%, exemplifying the positive effect that the SITG! is having on Ohio’s students.

We are proud to welcome FC Cincinnati as they join the Stay in the Game! Attendance Network,” said CEO of Haslam Sports Group Dee Haslam. “Together, alongside our partners, we are committed to ensuring school districts across Ohio are supported and have the resources they need to increase school attendance in their communities. Through our collective efforts, we are making significant strides in helping students stay in school and the impact of the Network is evident through the reduction of absenteeism rates across Ohio’s Stay in the Game! districts.” 

About the Stay In The Game! Attendance Network

Launched in 2019 by the Cleveland Browns Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Workforce and Harvard’s Proving Ground, the Stay in the Game! Attendance Network works together to campaign, connect, and convene with experts and supporters to increase attendance in Ohio. The Stay in The Game! Attendance Network currently supports 57 districts and nearly 269,000 students through localized, data-informed attendance campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the importance of school attendance as a foundation for student success and identifying barriers to attendance. For more information about the Stay in the Game! Attendance Network please contact us at or visit our website at

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