Some area students participated in JAG-K Day at the Capitol recently
TOPEKA – Students representing Jobs for America’s Graduates - Kansas (JAG-K) programs from Augusta and Holcomb traveled to Topeka on Feb. 7 to visit the Kansas Statehouse as part of the annual “JAG-K Day at the Capitol.” Due to weather and safety concerns, many of the 230 anticipated students were unable to attend this year.
The event gives students the opportunity to tour the Statehouse, meet with their legislators, and watch both legislative chambers in action. JAG-K was honored on the floor of both the House and Senate Chambers with a resolution officially recognizing the day. Students also had an opportunity to eat lunch in Topeka’s new Cyrus Hotel. The lunch was sponsored by AT&T Kansas.
“Leadership development and civic awareness are important aspects of the JAG-K program” said JAG-K President and CEO Chuck Knapp, “We are proud of all of our students and enjoy watching them grow.”
Several JAG-K students testified in the House Education and K-12 Budget Committees and in the Senate Education Committee. Students discussed the positive impact JAG-K has had on their academic outcomes and post-secondary plans. A JAG-K parent told House K-12 Budget Committee members that JAG-K has not only changed their son for the better but has positively impacted their family relationships as well.
“Watching my students stand a little taller and realize that they have a voice and story to share is very powerful,” explained Augusta Career Specialist Christy Pray, “I am honored to be part of JAG-K Day.”
“It was a pleasure going to Topeka and representing JAG-K, a very helpful program for me” stated Augusta Senior Kris Tolman, “I count it as truly a rare honor to stand in front of Kansas Senators and Representatives and voice my own experiences in JAG-K.”
JAG-K was also present Feb. 1, 2019, when Governor Laura Kelly signed a proclamation declaring February 7, 2019, as JAG-K Day at the Capitol. It was one of the first 10 proclamations signed by the new governor.
JAG-K, a 501(c)3 organization, is an in-school program that helps students prepare for successful futures. The evidence-based JAG model includes small class sizes, the use of project based learning to introduce and master the 87 JAG competencies, 12-month student engagement, and a 12-month follow-up period for all JAG-K seniors. JAG-K has 81 programs in 65 Kansas public schools, 38 school districts and serves approximately 3,800 students. The JAG-K graduation rate last year was 98 percent.
In addition to public schools, JAG-K partners with the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) and the Kansas State Department of Education. Funding for the program primarily comes from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to the state, administered by DCF. JAG-K also relies on private funds from investors including ADM, AT&T, and John Deere Coffeyville Works.
To learn more about JAG-K, visit www.jagkansas.org, on Facebook ‘Jobs for America’s Graduates- Kansas', and on twitter @JAG_Kansas.