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Come to class, drive away in a new car — Manitoba high school hook

Students in Dauphin, Man., are encouraged to improve their attendance to be entered in a year-end draw for a car.
Students in Dauphin, Man., are encouraged to improve their attendance to be entered in a year-end draw for a car. Global News

Students at a Manitoba high school have a major incentive to show up for class — they could start their summer driving a new car.

At Dauphin Regional Comprehensive Secondary School, kids with near-perfect attendance are entered in a draw to win a vehicle at the end of the year.

“We started by giving monthly prizes for excellent attendance and at the end of that year, four years ago, one of our secretaries donated her BMW convertible for an attendance prize,” teacher Patty Goodine said. “We’ve just kept it going from there, so what we require from the students is that they have at least a week perfect attendance. For every week of perfect attendance, their name goes into a draw. At the end of the year, if they have maintained at least a 90 per cent attendance, then their name stays in the draw — and it could be there multiple times, depending on how many weeks they had of perfect attendance.”

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Goodine said since starting the incentive program, the school has seen a 20 per cent jump in attendance. This year, there were five students who had perfect attendance for the whole year.

READ MORE: Tighter new school absentee rules to take effect next month in Nova Scotia

But she noted the high standard for entering the draw is not meant to deter students.

“Just to keep it more reachable or attainable for all, we do perfect attendance every month,” Goodine said. “We do draws for pretty amazing gifts that are donated by our community businesses, like GoPros and iPads and lots of gift certificates and things like that.”

“Some of our students just struggle to survive so getting to school for some of them is not the priority, but if something like this is going to help them, that’s great.”

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The community in Dauphin has supported the school’s endeavours since the get-go. Goodine said the local Twin Motors dealership has stepped up to the plate when it comes to donating vehicles for the big year-end draw.

But at the end of the day, the incentive is all about helping students succeed.

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“We have lots of issues with students from one spectrum to the other. Just like any other school, we deal with poverty and homelessness,” Goodine said.

“This is just another exciting little thing we can offer our students to try to make a difference and make coming to school that much more exciting.

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