Washougal, WA – Excitement filled the air at Hathaway Elementary with the announcement of student winners of seven brand new bicycles to culminate the year-long Strive for Five attendance program.Student attendance rewarded at Hathaway

The program aim is to increase understanding of and commitment to the importance of school attendance. “Striving for five means working to limit absences to no more than five per year,” said Hathaway Principal Sarika Mosley.  “Research shows that starting in kindergarten, missing too much school can cause children to fall behind in learning.”

Student attendance rewarded at HathawayTo add fun and provide a reward for those students and families who are committed to excellent attendance, brand-new bicycles were given as end-of-year prizes.

The idea of working with community business partners with bike donations to reward good attendance came from a visit to Walla Walla, WA two years ago by a team of 7 Hathaway staff members.  First-grade teacher, Chera Thompson noticed the bike reward at a local school and decided it could be added to Hathaway’s attendance work.  “Personal relationships with our local business partners made this idea a reality today,” said Jenna Linerud, school social worker. “Watching the reactions of the students…it was priceless!”

Student attendance rewarded at HathawayWinners were drawn from two categories; those students who missed less than five days this year and those students who showed significant improvement in attendance through the year. Strive for Five winners were Kaden Fenne 3rd grade, Kaytlynn Thompson 1st grade, and Paige Prynne 4th grade.  Jordan Robinson 4th grade won for attendance improvement.  Bikes were also awarded to all three students with perfect attendance.  They were Titus Knottingham 2nd grade, Jordan Stultz 1st grade, and Abigail Picho 4th grade.

Local Washougal business partners who made donations for bike purchases were Hi-Way Fuel, Columbia River Realty, Allweather Wood, All Pride Fitness, Country Financial and Washougal Fill Station.

“We are grateful to our local businesses who really came through and helped us reward these students for their commitment,” said Linerud. “And of course, we are so grateful to our Hathaway families and students who put education first and worked hard to be committed to school attendance.”

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