Students at one Bibb elementary school spent Friday afternoon pledging to miss less school this year.

Students at Veterans Elementary kicked off attendance awareness month with a little inspiration from Bibb Superior Court Judge Verda Colvin. Last school year, nearly half of the students in the county had more than five unexcused absences and the district wants to reduce that.

They say poor attendance hurts a student’s chance to graduate.

Colvin's message to students was simple.

“Show up and show out, not act out--but show out to come to school and do their best. If they matter, which I had all of them agree that they matter by raising their hand, then you’ve got to show up." Colvin went on to say, "When you don’t show up, you tell the world I don’t matter. I hope that they will remember that and on the days they may not have anyone pushing them to go to school, they’ll push themselves.”

Students also released balloons, as a way of letting go of their excuses for missing school.