Hogansville students celebrate achievements with a luau and lei

Published 8:35 pm Friday, January 12, 2018


Recently, students in Kathryn Soto and Kelly Hanners’ Read 180 and System 44 classes stepped out of the school doors and into a luau celebration hosted by Kona Ice. Thanks to the Adopt a Classroom program, Soto also received a check for $500 to help purchase classroom supplies.

Two months ago, students started working towards reading and literacy goals to qualify for the Kona Ice party. While they didn’t know exactly what they would win in the end, they knew there would be recognition after the four-week reading incentive.

“One of the literacy challenges I noticed in my class was the amount of time students were reading,” Soto said. “It wasn’t enough. The more they read, the more they extend their vocabulary. Our students are very competitive, so when they were given the challenge, many of them worked real hard towards their stretch goal. For instance, one of my students, Mary, read over 400 minutes during the challenge timeframe.”

Mary, along with 29 of her fourth and fifth grade classmates were able to enjoy the Kona Ice party as a community giveback through the Adopt a Classroom program. Calvin Neely, owner of Kona Ice, loves to give back to schools. When he was notified a school in his region was chosen to receive one of the $500 checks and a party, he immediately went to the website to see which local teachers were signed up through the parent company’s Adopt a Classroom website.

“I was excited to know that a school in my region would be receiving needed funds for the classroom,” Neely said. “There were several teachers that were already registered on the website, but the final name was chosen through a random selection process.”

The military veteran believes giving back to the community no matter the time it takes. As he handed out plastic cups filled with crushed ice, he said.

And enjoy they did. Some of the students even went back for seconds as Soto, Hanners and Principal Bret Bryant looked on.

“These are the rewards for pushing toward your goals,” Soto said. “Now, because of the donation from Kona Ice, you have new headsets in your classroom, along with some interactive seating when the new tables and chairs arrive.”

The students, rushing to top off their mountain of ice with sour syrup said, “This is fun and I was able to do something good for my grade.” They then gathered under the awnings, placed the lei’s over their heads, and began enjoying the fruits of their accomplishments.

Troup County School System is an accredited educational system with over 11,900 students in grades K-12. TCSS does offer a free Pre-K program at each elementary school. The system is comprised of eleven elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools, one college and career academy, and one alternative learning center. Students within the school system are taught a rigorous and relevant curriculum that helps them make college and career choices beyond graduation and succeed in life. The system 2017 graduation rate rose 6.6 percentage points in three years to 78.0 percent. To learn more about Troup County School System, visit troup.org and the Troup County School System Facebook page.