Local schools considering Junior ROTC programs - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local schools considering Junior ROTC programs

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RICHLAND, Wash.--Local schools considering Junior ROTC programs. Some local high schools are looking to start a junior ROTC program. The Richland School District is considering the program for Richland High and Hanford High. Organizers say the program would focus on building student leadership and community skills.

They say the program has been beneficial for students at other schools. Career and Technology Education Director Claudia Cooley says "programs that have been implemented in neighboring districts, they've seen a significant increase in attendance, focus, graduation rates are better."

Richland schools would model their program after programs at schools in Walla Walla and Yakima. Members would work with several non-profit and charity groups.

Data shows that less than 9% of students that participate in Junior ROTC join the armed forces.

The Richland School Board already supports the idea. The district will distribute a student survey to gauge their interest. The Junior ROTC program could start as early as 2013.