Knox students swap scores for bikes

Published 10:02 pm Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Antanique Tubbs, left, and Jason Wilson, right, look at the bikes at Knox Elementary. The school will give 35 students bikes and 15 students scooters for scoring high on the ARMT standardized test. Students with a four in both math and reading will receive bikes and students with a four in one and a three in the other subject will receive a scooter. --Laura Fenton photo

In the middle of a difficult math problem or a confusing reading comprehension question, 10-year-old Jason Wilson would look to the corner of the room. Sitting there was all the motivation and incentive he needed — a bicycle.

“It motivated me,” Jason said. “It made me want to do good on my test.”

Knox Elementary  will give bicycles to 35 students and scooters to 15 students for scoring high on the Stanford Achievement Test 10, SAT 10, and Alabama Math and Reading Test, ARMT, standardized tests for the 2009-2010 school year.

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Students with a four in both math and reading, the highest level of proficiency in each category, will receive bicycles and students with a four in one and a three in the other subject will receive a scooter.

Jason scored fours in both categories and will receive a bicycle.

Making good grades is a reward in itself for Jason, but receiving a bicycle for his test scores is “fun because I can get two rewards,” Jason said.

Nine-year-old Sierra Shaw is excited about getting a new bike because she put much effort into learning her multiplication and division tables and new vocabulary.

“Before we took the test, I studied hard and listened to the teacher,” said Sierra Shaw.

Faculty, staff, school clubs, parents and private donors have paid for all but 15 bicycles and 15 scooters.

Third grade teacher Angelia Quinney gave money to purchase a bicycle because she saw the enthusiasm her students had for the initiative.

“I saw that it really helped the kids and they got excited about it, so if it’s something that excites them about learning, then why not?” Quinney said.

If students needed a reminder of why they should study, she would point to the bicycle which placed in her classroom about two weeks before testing started in April.

This is the first year Knox Elementary will give third, fourth and fifth grade students such a large reward for scoring well on the SAT 10, and ARMT.

Students receive rewards for honor roll and perfect attendance, so this is along the same line, just a larger reward, Quinney said.

ARMT is for students third through eighth grade and SAT 10 is for students third through eighth grade.

Principal James Pope plans to award students with the bicycles and scooters at the Sept. 21 PTO meeting. Each bike and scooter range from $20 to $99 each.

To donate a bike, scooter or money to the project, contact James Pope Knox Elementary at 874-1650.