Lakeland - It's a pep rally like no other. The cheerleaders aren't rooting for the football team, they're cheering for something more important. "This is all about academics, behavior, and citizenship," said Jonan Holbrook, Teacher.
Every nine weeks, students and teachers at Lanier County Elementary take a break from the classroom for what they call a Renaissance Pep Rally. "Our Renaissance program pushes reward, recognition, and reinforcement," said Holbrook.
Rewards like T-shirts, toys, and even annual passes to Wild Adventures make these kids strive for outstanding student performance. "The ones who really don't excel in academic excellence want to push a little harder now that their friends are getting recognized, and they're up in the stands," said Sarah Harrell, Student.
Jonan Holbrook helped start the program four years ago, and student performance has been soaring ever since. "Now almost 90 percent of our school has good behavior," said Holbrook. "Also, we were at about 60 percent of the school, and now we're at 80 percent of the school making A's and S plus." "It helps our children be excited about going to school, they're interested in it," said Sena Pike, Parent.
It's also a chance to thank local businesses who are giving big bucks for education. "We've seen the biggest difference in our children, our community, we have people calling our school wanting to know what they can do for our students to make academics first in our community," said Holbrook.
A difference that's putting these students at the head of the class.