For three years, the Tahlequah Kiwanis Club has been helping area schools motivate students to earn good grades.
The local civic organization has a program called Bringing Up Grades, or BUG, that rewards third- and fourth-graders who raise their grade point averages during the first semester of the academic year.
A Kiwanis Club representative visits elementary schools in Tahlequah, Briggs, Grand View, Keys, Woodall and Hulbert about the time students receive their first progress reports. Students are told they could earn a bicycle and other donated items by raising a grade in the core subject classes designated by the respective school’s administrator.
The program has been in place since 2010, said Kiwanis Club President Craig Clifford.
“We meet with the kids in the first quarter [when they receive their progress reports] and encourage them to bring up their grade before the Christmas break,” he said. “They’re a BUG if they bring up a grade, but if they get straight As, they’re Super BUGs. Super BUGs get their names placed in the hat twice for a chance to earn bicycles. We only give away two bikes at each school, one is presented to a third-grader and one to a fourth-grader.”
Trena Payton, who is a participant with the Kiwanis Club program, said BUG helps reinforce what it means to earn good grades in school – especially for a core subject class like English, math or science.
“I know from personal experience with my kids that the students don’t start getting grades until they’re in second grade,” she said. “The principal decides on the core subjects, and [the student has] to bring up at least one grade in one of those core subjects. It could be a C to a B, or a B to an A, so long as they bring up their grade and don’t let any other grades fall.”
There were an assortment of bikes the kids received, if their name was drawn, said Payton. The Kiwanis Club works with Walmart to obtain the bikes, she said.
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