Carver/Century Gives Away Hundreds Of Dollars, Holds FCAT Cash Grab

January 31, 2008


“The more you learn, the more you earn,” has been Carver/Century School Principal Jeff Garthwaite’s repeated phrase to his students the past few weeks. And Thursday, he “showed them the money”.The school held a cash grab awarding cash to deserving students who made FCAT gains from the September 2007 FCAT Simulation to the December 2007 FCAT Simulation.

The students’ hard work literally paid off Thursday. From gold dollar coins, to $2 bills to envelopes containing $20, students earned for learning.

Patsy Green, a retired Carver/Century teacher, awarded cash to the students on behalf of the Alger-Sullivan Historical Society.

cashgrab03.jpg“I made a promise to you last year in my homeroom that if you made an improvement on the FCAT you will get money,” she told excited middle school students.

She awarded cash ranging for $5 to $20 per student for not only high FCAT scores, but for simply making “adequately yearly progress” on the FCAT simulation. That meant that even low-scoring students that showed some improvement would walk away with money.

Rev. Carter from the Pilgrim Lodge Baptist Church and a former guidance counselor at Carver Middle School told the students “That is what education is all about. You get some rewards today, but you get rewards the rest of your life.”

He urged student to turn off their televisions and spend that time reading.

“After you watch TV for an hour, close your eyes and see what you got out of that,” Carter said. “Then read a book, close your eyes and see what you learned.”

“Your life is in you hands,” the reverend said. “You can make it anything you want it to be.”

That sentiment was echoed by Jewel Cannada-Wynn, a Pensacola city council member and a former Carver student. She is also the dean at Escambia High School in Pensacola.

jewel-cannada-wynn.jpg“I grew up in Century, and I am proud of my hometown,” Cannada-Wynn told the students (pictured left, click to enlarge). She told them it was possible for a Carver/Century student to work hard and become anything that they want to be in their adult life.

She told the student that they “have the power”, and encouraged them to associate only with other students that “have the power”.

Three students were randomly picked for the “cash grab”. They were allowed to grab all the coins they could hold in one hand from bowls containing either nickels, dimes or quarters.

Garthwaite promised the students that another cash grab would happen later in the year after the FCAT tests in the spring.

The money for the school’s cash grab was from the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a non-profit corporation committed to enhancing the quality of public education in Escambia County by encouraging innovation and excellence in the classroom.

Carver/Century was rated as an “F” school by the State of Florida last year. Wednesday’s cash grab activity is one of many steps the school has taken in an attempt to encourage students to prepare for the FCAT and improve the “F”.



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