November 22, 2013 10:12:47 AM
Sarah Fowler - firstname.lastname@example.org
A local school is hoping to raise students' grades by offering incentives.
West Lowndes Middle School was recently awarded a $5,000 grant through Weyerhaeuser Giving and plans to use the money to buy electronics and gift cards to encourage students to score higher on tests.
"We are going to use some of those funds as incentives to inspire them to score high on the Mississippi curriculum test," said West Lowndes principal Cynthia McMath.
In addition to the electronics and gift cards, McMath said her school plans to use the grant money for school supplies.
"They may need notebooks, pencils," she said. "With our economic situation, these kind of things help our parents and our community so they don't have to worry."
Approximately 80 percent of students at West Lowndes Middle are eligible for free or reduced lunch.
Currently, only 55 percent of students at the middle school are scoring as "proficient" on the state test. McMath hopes by providing children with basic supplies as well as incentives, the students will feel more confident and want to work harder to achieve good grades.
"We want to get 70 percent of our children scoring in proficient and advanced," McMath said.
In addition to using the grant money to offer incentives to students, McMath said half of the $5,000 would be used to give teachers new supplies.
"The district is good with their funds but you always want to seek out and have a little bit more," she said.
Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter @FowlerSarah