Student artwork lauds good attendance

PARKERSBURG – Neale Elementary School educators are hoping students get the message attendance is the key to success.

Tammy Jones with Wood County Schools attendance and home services office said students were challenged to create posters telling why students need to be in school. The school received 28 entries and a guest judge selected two winners.

Second-grader Baelyn Rhyne, 7, won for her theme “School is Cool,” while fourth-grade Maddie Blosser, 10, broke down the reasons with her poster “Missing Matters – Attendance Counts.”

“They all showed excellent creativity,” Jones said. Rhyne received a board game, Wendy’s gift card and a coloring book, while Blosser received a $10 gift card.

Neale Principal Linda Brunicardi said it is an important message to get out to both parents and students.

“I’m thrilled to have Tammy here helping us to get the message that kids need to be present and engaged,” she said.

Brunicardi said she plans to have additional incentive events for students throughout the year, including an end-of-year trip for students who miss less than a week of school.

Classrooms also are holding a contest. Each day the class has all students attending, the class adds a letter to “PERFECT ATTENDANCE.” Students in the class that meets their goal will receive extra recess time.

The competitions are part of a national push by Attendance Works, an organization that gives schools and families tools to help keep kids in school. September was Attendance Awareness Month and studies have shown school attendance to be one of the top determining factors in student achievement and success.