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NYC Students Getting Wake-Up Calls From Magic Johnson

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NBA legend, Magic Johnson waves on the sideline during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the New York Knicks on November 16, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  (credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

NBA legend, Magic Johnson waves on the sideline during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the New York Knicks on November 16, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

lamb_feature Rich Lamb
Rich Lamb is an award-winning reporter, who has been on the air at...
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Ever have trouble getting out of bed to go to work? Apparently, New York City students have that problem, too.

Listen to the robo-call

So, the New York City Department of Education is trying something new to  deal with the problem of truancy and chronic absence among students.

It’s called WakeUp! NYC and it features robo-calls.

One of them stars former professional basketball star Magic Johnson saying, “Morning! It’s me, Magic Johnson here. I won five NBA championships and an Olympic gold medal! So, I’m calling the shots today. Get up out of bed, into school! Try hard! Do well!”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “If that doesnt get you up out of bed off and to school, I don’t know what will.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg sounds off on the robo-calls

The city reports chronic absenteeism has been dropping in most of the test schools where it has been focusing attention.

“We want all of our students to excel and become successful adults, and good attendance will help them reach that goal,” Schools Chancellor Cathie Black said. “We are working hard to reduce chronic absenteeism, and thanks to the Mayor’s Task Force, we have seen a significant drop in chronic absenteeism…  We know we have a long way to go, but this is a good start.”

Others featured in the robo-calls are Jose Reyes, Big Boi, Terrence J, Rocsi, Trey Songz.

“There are days when the sun is shining and it might be more pleasurable to go out and play hookie, but you can’t do that if you want to have a future,” said Bloomberg. “You got to show up!”

Twenty percent of New York City public school students are chronically absent, which means they missed 20 days of school last year or 10 days so far this year.

What do you think of the new initiative? Do you think it will help children get up out of bed? Let us know!

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