October 24, 2014

High School Students Achieve Perfect Attendance

The two big winners were Jasmine Thompson (L), she won a $50.00 Wal-Mart Gift card Cameron Long (R0, he won the Beats by Dr. Dre

The two big winners were Jasmine Thompson (L), she won a $50.00 Wal-Mart Gift card and
Cameron Long (R), he won the Beats by Dr. Dre.

(Franklin) — Any school teacher will tell you that attendance is one of the most important factors in a student’s life.  Students with good attendance make better grades than those who don’t attend as they should.

HEROEs, part of Heard County Community Partnership’s (HCCP) community-based, strategic plan, offers attendance, behavioral and graduation incentives by grade level.

Approximately 2,000 students in the county are offered the opportunity to ‘earn’ prizes. School administrators use the HEROEs (Heard Educational Rewards of Excellence) funds in nominal ways, a coke and a candy bar, to ‘reward’ students for achievements, along with a chance on bigger prizes.

This week’s drawing was for Beats Audio headphone. The big winner was Cameron Long. Other students won gift cards to Dominos, Subway, iTunes, etc.

Other winners Of gift cards included: Riley Curbow, Jeffery Bornstein, Blake Noles, Andrew Sanders, Curtis Goode, Emma Taylor, Megan Jordan, Kimberly Harris, Stormy Thompson, Katherine Smith, Quindon Dunson, John Williams, Ethan Hand, and Kinley Cantrell.

Examples of ways students earn chances at prizes or rewards include no absences, increases in grades, no behavioral issues, rewards for good behavior, keeping credits on track for graduation, mentoring other youth, participating in community service projects, having a parent or out-of-school sibling earn a GED, etc.

Each school created defined lists of rules and rewards prior to the program’s inception. Students are challenged to set attendance goals at semester inception and then rewarded for reaching those goals in front of peers at assemblies and families at awards ceremonies.

In a previous year, middle school students were offered extra prizes for not missing any days during state CRCT testing. The middle school maintained 98.76% attendance for the week. They offer prize drawings for their ‘winners’ as well

The elementary schools use their portion of funds for things like field trips, pizza parties, inflatables rentals, etc.

This initiative addresses a majority of the factors contributing to a student’s success or failure; including high school drop out rates, a lack of academic ‘support’, concerns for the low number of youth seeking post-secondary education, grades, absenteeism, and behavioral issues.

It is estimated that high school dropouts cost taxpayers between $320 billion and $350 billion a year in lost wages, taxable income, healthcare, welfare and incarceration costs, among others. (The Silent Epidemic; Perspectives of High School Dropouts, March, 2006) 75% of America’s state prison inmates are high school dropouts (Harlow, 2003).

“HCCP welcomes donations to this initiative to help us continue the great work these students and the school system are doing”, said Kathy Knowles, Director of HCCP.

“Since HCCP is a recognized 501c3 organization, any donations would be tax deductible. We challenge the students to do good work and the photos show they’re accepting the challenge. I hope the community will also offer assistance to help us continue this four-year old initiative that’s show such promising results. I’m proud of each of the Heard High students”

The HEROEs program is funded through by a grant from The Community Foundation of West Georgia.

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