(MITCHELL) - The Mitchell Grissom chapter of the Kiwanis International recognized 62 Burris Elementary School students for their hard work and academic achievement during the 2012-13 school year.
Bringing Up Grades is a program to recognize students who are able to raise at least one class grade up a full letter grade, without allowing any of their other grades to drop.
The program is sponsored by the Mitchell Grissom Kiwanis.
Deanna Gardner, BUG program coordinator, explained the program is aimed at students who are struggling in school. If students are able to raise their grades, their teachers submit their names to the principal, who turns them over to Gardner. After the grades are in, Kiwanis has an awards ceremony where students receive a certificate with their name on it and a goody bag put together by the club.
The goal of the program is to encourage and celebrate academic achievements in students who aren't making the best grades in the class.
The Mitchell BUG program began last spring, awarding prizes to 56 students following the third grading period and 102 students at the end of the year.
This year, they awarded more than 30 students in January, more than 50 following the third grading period, and 62 students at the end of the year ceremony on May 23.
Gardner attributes the success of the program to the effort of teachers and principals, parents, students and local merchants who donate prizes for the students.
This year's prizes included certificates for a personal pizza from Chicago's Pizza, a smoothie from Huckleberry's Bakery, a Hawaiian ice from The Hub and candy from Orscheln's. In addition to the prizes each child receives, for each time a student is able to raise their grade, their name is entered in a drawing for the grand prize, a season pass to the Mitchell pool and a $20 gift certificate for the concession stands. This year's winners were Mandie Learner, fourth-grader, and Cody Porter, third-grader.
Karen Phipps, secretary for the Oolitic Kiwanis chapter, said qualifying students at Dollens enjoy a doughnut and milk breakfast in the fall and are entered in a drawing for one boy's bike and one girl's bike in the spring.
Phipps reported that Fayetteville has been using the BUG program for three years and Dollens for two. Gardner also mentioned Orleans began the program this year and that Bloomington schools are looking to begin the program next year.
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