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New program helps students achieve goals
by Tribune Staff
Feb 12, 2012 | 1236 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SPARKS — The Washoe County School District hopes a new program at Sparks Middle School called the “Family Star Store” will help students achieve their academic goals by helping their families.

The store program allows students in Diana Nelson Cox’s English/Language Arts classes who score 90 percent or above on significant school assignments to get free household supplies that the whole family can use.

Cox said she came up with the idea for the family store when she realized that many of her students did not associate their performance in the classroom with real-life family circumstances and a better future. She hoped the plan would teach them and their families how receiving a good education and performing well in class would benefit everyone at home.

Cox stocked the store with household staples such as rice, beans, oil, cold and hot cereals, laundry and dish soap and personal grooming supplies. Students who reach high educational goals are given a Family Star bearing the student’s name and signed by their teacher. They and their families can then redeem the star at the campus family store.

“The results last year were phenomenal,” Cox said. “My students’ skills climbed and their individual and class averages on significant assignments rose by at least 20 percent in every class. More important was the response and eventual involvement of the parents.”

She said many parents now perceive education as something that will help the entire family both now and in the future.

Some 60 students in Cox’s class earned Family Stars that can be used at this month’s store.
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