Kiwanis rewards students for improving grades

DOWNEY - The Kiwanis Club of Downey teamed with Gauldin Elementary School to recognize students who raised their grades and maintained or continued to raise them from one grading period to the next.Kiwanian Alex Gaytan, working in collaboration with teacher Harold Huang and principal Dolores Goble, closed out the Bring Up Grades (BUG) program for selected fourth and fifth graders with an awards ceremony at Shakeys restaurant last Saturday. Amidst a packed room, teachers Stephanie Blanco and Harold Huang called out the names of all students who improved their grades. When the last name was called, a roaring applause from their fellow students was heard. A special certificate was given to each child along with a BUG sticker. Honored recipients received a pizza party and free game tokens from the Kiwanis Club and their names were added to the school's BUG Honor Roll. Two scholarships for $150 each were given to a high school student mentor/tutor (Nicole Gallo) and an elementary school student from the BUG program (Esmeralda Magallon). "The BUG program had our backing and support at the school level from the parents, teachers, support staff and administration," said Stephanie Blanco, resource teacher at Gallatin. "We loved the idea of passionate, young mentors, who are able to connect with our students on a much different level than we as teachers can, coming to help our at-risk students in reading and math. "This year, the growth we saw was tremendous, not only in regards to the benchmark test administered before and after the program, but in overall changes in our students' academics, attitudes, and work ethics," Blanco added. "The students are leaving the BUG program as more confident learners and the data undoubtedly supports the fact that our students are truly bringing up their grades," said Gaytan.

********** Published: May 31, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 07