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May 10, 2014

Students rewarded with ‘extravaganza’

GREENVILLE — Rachel Harrison, reading literacy teacher at the Sixth Grade Center (SGC), developed a way to improve students scores on the STAAR exam by injecting a little fun into the incentives.

“I was trying to think of a way to encourage students to learn,” she said. “For them to see purpose in school and give them a reward for their hard work.”

Harrison decided why not have an “extravaganza” for students who not only performed will in class and during the exam, but also were on good behavior throughout the year.

All day on Friday, the SGC was turned into a fun house, with bounce houses, slides and an obstacle course for the students who met the criteria to enjoy.

Refreshments were also available for students.

Once she presented the plan to SGC Principal James Evans, he immediately gave her the go ahead to reward the children in this way.

Evans said Harrison pours herself fully into everything she puts her mind on.

“She does this on everything she does for the kids,” he said. “She’s the ray of sunshine out here on a cloudy day.”

Harrison said all this was made possible by the SGC PTA.

“We are forever grateful to the PTA. They went above and beyond,” she said, adding the PTA paid $500 for the event. “Without their support we would have not been able to do this.”

Harrison added the staff who worked the event were tremendously helpful in how smooth the day went.

“I want to thank our whole faculty,” she said. “This was truly a school team effort. A special thanks to Mr. Evans as well.”

Evans said Harrison is an invaluable asset to the children at the school.

“She’s my right hand,” he said. “I couldn’t live without her. It has been an absolutely great day.”

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