A number of third-graders from Cleveland ISD’s Cottonwood Elementary School overcame some significant obstacles this past school year, as did most students over the last 12 plus months, and they went the extra mile in their education as part of a pilot program called First in Math, and they were recently rewarded for that hard work.
The program is utilized by schools all over the country and the State of Texas, but Cottonwood ranked number one among third-graders in the state, with four individual teams ranking in the top 25 statewide.
The program is headed by Cottonwood RTI Specialist Tracy Spears and Marilyn Lugo, Carlos Moronaya, and Jennifer Reed all made a significant contribution as well.
“We offered it to the students before school and after school, and the students could work on it at home. Through the year, we offered incentives like a large Wall of Fame in the third-grade hallway to track progress, monthly parties for high achievers, crowning the weekly math king/ queen, etc.,” said Spears.
Spears hoped to reward all of the students who took part in the school program in a big way, so she reached out to local community businesses and asked them to help with the purchase of bicycles and helmets to be rewarded to the top performers.
The donors included: Ima Survivor Animal Sanctuary, Fish Tales, Colony Ridge, Baret Stephenson Farm Bureau Insurance, Casas Houston, First America Homes, Signorelli Company, El Jimador, Fat Floyd’s Smokehouse, Barney and Gloria Payne, Justin and Elizabeth Edge, Maria Guise, Brandy Wolf, Valenti Stephenson-Joubert and Martin Chevrolet.
Spears was highly excited by the showing of support for the students from the community, and she got a big boost from her husband Curt for putting together 37 bicycles himself.
“I am so appreciative for all the support from the community that they would come together to do this for my students,” concluded Spears.