"One out of 5 kids miss a month of school," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
While the mayor says attendance has improved this year, he announced the new anti-truancy program called "Wake Up NYC."
Basketball legend Magic Johnson is one of many celebrities who whose recorded voices will call chronically absent students on school days.
"We want kids to hear from someone they will listen to," Bloomberg said.
The campaign will be aimed at 66 hundred students of the 25 schools selected for a pilot program.
Wake Up New York will begin next week, and may be expanded citywide in the spring.