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Padres Surprise Paradise Hills Elementary

News Release: Padres, All-Star Manny Machado Surprise Paradise Hills Elementary School With Attendance Award and Tickets to Petco Park
Posted on 05/14/2024


Padres, All-Star Manny Machado Surprise Paradise Hills Elementary School With Attendance Award and Tickets to Petco Park

 ‘Be Like a Pro And Always Go’ 

May 13, 2024

SAN DIEGO - Padres superstar Manny Machado made a surprise appearance at Paradise Hills Elementary School today to congratulate students for winning the “Be Like a Pro And Always Go” attendance challenge, a collaboration between the Padres and the San Diego Unified School District. 

To help promote strong attendance, with an emphasis on elementary schools most impacted by absenteeism, the Padres teamed up with San Diego Unified on a public service announcement and campaign that challenged students to improve attendance from March 1 through April 30. 

In addition to winning tickets to a Padres game for students, family members and staff, each student at Paradise Hills Elementary also received a Manny Machado bobblehead and attendance certificates signed by the Padres third baseman who is well known for stellar attendance at games and practices.

“No matter what you want to be in life, every day you’re in school will help you get closer to your dreams,” said Machado, who is well known for his stellar attendance at games and practices. “I’m so proud of all the students in San Diego Unified for the great job they did with this challenge. You’re all pros in my book!”    

The chance to attend a Padres game served as an effective incentive to improve attendance for students of all ages at Paradise Hills Elementary, said Principal Steve Elizondo. Last month, the percentage of chronically absent students (those missing at least 10 percent of school days) dropped by seven percentage points. 

“Our entire school community has been working hard to improve attendance. We know that strong attendance is one of the keys to success both now and in the future,” Elizondo said. “Our families are stepping up and getting their kids to school on time, and our staff builds positive relationships with students. We all try to make sure that kids feel loved, valued and a sense of belonging so that they want to come to school each day. We appreciate the Padres for providing us with this opportunity and extra motivation to boost our attendance rate. Go Padres!”

Fletcher Elementary School will also receive tickets to a Padres game for taking second place in the “Be Like a Pro And Always Go” challenge. Another 63 schools serving Universal Transitional Kindergarten through fifth grade improved attendance, and students from each of those schools will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for tickets to a Padres game.

Both the Padres and San Diego Unified are hopeful the attendance campaign will make a lasting impact and curb absenteeism going forward.

“When our students are in school every day, we know they can thrive. Even for our four- and five-year-old students, it is important to attend school regularly,” Superintendent Dr. Lamont Jackson said. “San Diego Unified is grateful to the Padres for their partnership in promoting strong school attendance, and for our shared commitment to fostering conditions in San Diego that give every student a sense of belonging.” 

Since the pandemic, schools locally and nationwide have seen a spike in absenteeism. COVID-19 and other illnesses, mental health needs, housing and food insecurities, unmet transportation needs, and inflation, all contribute to chronic absenteeism.

San Diego Unified is committed to identifying the root causes of chronic absenteeism, and is working to implement solutions and strategies to support families so all students can regularly attend school and excel.

The Padres have been longtime supporters of San Diego Unified and public education. The team stepped up with an offer to help when it became aware of the increase in absenteeism, especially at schools in areas that were hit hardest by the pandemic.

MEDIA CONTACT: Communications Director Maureen Magee 619-381-7930, [email protected]