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making sure there
are no empty desks

Helping Kids Go to School (HKGTS) is a Michigan-based organization, founded by John Broad, to reduce the number of kids who are chronically absent whose mission is to support the overall health and well-being of Michigan’s children by reducing the devastating chronic absentee rates that plague our public schools across the state.


Our program is based on the core belief that parents have the most control over whether their children get to school on a regular basis and therefore they must be the central part of solution. HKGTS is designed to work directly with families to help them remove barriers that prevent kids from getting to school.


HKGTS has a partnership with the Council of Baptist Pastors.  The pastors of these churches will hand pick members of their congregation to be trained as coaches to work with families whose children are or are at risk of becoming chronically absent.   

HKGTS has a memorandum of understanding with Detroit Public Schools Community District for a pilot program at Mackenzie Elementary-Middle School.  Mackenzie has 840 students and chronic absenteeism over 70 percent.


Currently, the churches working with HKGTS are Third New Hope Baptist Church on Plymouth Rd and Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Detroit.

HKGTS is a 501C tax-exempt foundation.

Meet The Team

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John W Broad


​​Past President, Crime Stoppers of Michigan
Board Member, Michigan Center for Youth Justice
Board Member, Chance for Life
Past Member, Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice
Past Vice Chairman, Detroit Regional Chamber

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Pastor Richard White


First Vice President, Council of Baptist Pastors
Pastor, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church

HKGTS Program Results


HKGTS launched its pilot parent mentoring program in Fall 2020 at Mackenzie Elementary Middle School (location) which has 840 students and a 70% chronic absenteeism rate.  HKGTS currently has six coaches working with parents whose children attend Mackenzie Elementary-Middle School.  As of winter 2022, we can report that HKGTS has begun to measurably reduce the chronic absentee rate in that school. In fact, in 2021, Wayne State University conducted a thorough evaluation of the 2019-2020 HKGTS/Mackenzie program and found strong correlative evidence that the program is reducing absenteeism in that school: “61% percent of the students who were a part of the cohort did show a decrease in the number of missing days from school.”


HKGTS Moving Forward


While the above-cited Wayne State data is encouraging, HKGTS knows there is much more we must do to fully realize the potential of the HKGTS model of direct parental intervention to reduce chronic absenteeism.  In the coming year, with sufficient funding, HKGTS is prepared to pursue the following goals and activities to expand the scope of the program, demonstrate the program’s effectiveness, improve our coaching training and ultimately achieve significant reductions in chronic absentee rates at partner schools:


  1. Add at least one new public-school partner in 2022-23.

  2. Conduct focus groups with parents to better understand how to communicate the value of the program.

  3. Hire Managing Director who will support the HKGTS president in the day-to-day operations, promotions, and growth of HKGTS.


To secure the funding necessary to take on these ambitious goals, HKGTS is pursuing contributions and grants from individual donors, corporations, foundations, and government sources. We are seeking a minimum of $100,000 by the fall of 2022 to enable HKGTS to undertake all the above-described activities. 

Kids with Capes

Seven trained coaches
& one coach in training!

Upon completion of the pilot program this June, there will be a ramp-up of coaches, families and schools this Fall.

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