Freeport businesses aim at keeping kids in school - – Rockford’s News Leader

Freeport businesses aim at keeping kids in school


The city of Freeport takes a unique approach to keeping kids in class. You'll see the effort in the windows of downtown businesses and the message is simple. Stay off the streets and in school.

"I think a lot of kids know that's where they should be, but sometimes they need a little bit of guidance to make sure that's where they are," says Oliver Hammond, an employee at Jet Beauty Mart, a Freeport downtown business that is on board with the truancy campaign.

Jet beauty mart, along with a handful of other businesses in Freeport think it's a great idea. The sign idea came up about a year ago, when Sellers Media wanted to lower the truancy rate in schools.

"If someone sees them skipping school, they can call the school," says Patrick Seller, CEO of Sellers Media. "The truancy officer rides around town. If he sees kids that are of school age that should be in school, he will stop and talk to them and request that they go to school, and if not, he could issue them a ticket."

"Sometimes I ask 'Aren't you supposed to be in school? They say, No 'I didn't feel good.' Sometimes I don't say anything but they should be in school, if they had time to go shopping," says Luchy Redington, the owner of Luchy's Secrets.

A lot of customers say they like the signs, and so do some students.

"I think more kids should actually be encouraged to stay in school, because I mean, an education's the best thing you can get out here, now with all the stuff going on with the economy and everything," says Isaiah Jackson. "So I think just getting a good education, a good job, is just good for everyone, basically."

Sellers Media says they're hoping to expand the campaign. He says anyone can get a sign for their business by visiting the Facebook page, Sellers Media Group, and sending a direct message.

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