A shiny stretch limousine arrives at the entrance of a neighborhood elementary school at lunch hour. To curious students watching, it’s a scene most have witnessed only on television or in a movie. While they stare, wide-eyed, the driver gets out, rolls out a plush red carpet and opens the rear door, graciously ushering a select group of smiling celebrities into the shiny car’s plush interior. The limo drives away – slowly, carefully – to a popular local restaurant for a special lunch.
Following a great meal, special awards, and lots of laughter – the limousine returns to the school. Once more, the driver opens the door as beaming students pour out and proudly share stories about their memorable experience with friends and fellow students.
It is a sight the young bystanders will probably never forget. And, watching the exciting finale of a yearlong program, each one longs for a similar experience.
Behind the Scenes Efforts
Long before that limo made its way to pick up its passengers, lots of hands and hearts were hard at work behind the scenes. Many dozens of volunteers, staff and sponsors have spent countless hours seeking funding, organizing materials, creating methods of follow-up and orchestrating public relations efforts. Schools, teachers and parents have spent many hours supporting students’ efforts to improve their reading skills. Each tells the story – over and over again.
A Unique Incentive to Learn
Oftentimes students who need the most encouragement and support become disillusioned when standardized test scores are utilized as the sole criterion for recognition and reward – effort and hard work toward meeting goals is overlooked. Limos For Learning™ helps overcome this problem by rewarding students who are willing to put forth the tremendous effort to meet or exceed established individual goals of the program. The program gives students an alternative means to experience recognition and reward for accomplishment. In addition, the program generates overall classroom enthusiasm for reading. Program materials teach children the lifelong importance of reading and the value of goal setting. Incentives and books motivate children by increasing and fueling their desire to read, encouraging hard work toward meeting individual goals, and recognizing and rewarding accomplishment – not test scores.
So – when the limo arrives at the restaurant, and its celebrities are applauded as they proudly walk the red carpet – be keenly aware that a great deal of hard work brought them there. These students are superstars because they became better readers.
A Winning Example
The scene that the Limos For Learning™ participants experience is one that is being recreated in towns throughout the Carolinas – and beyond. Since its inception in 2003, the positive response to Limos for Learning™ rates as nothing short of overwhelming. The program is successful because countless supporters work immeasurable hours to make it successful. The program is a winning example, a hopeful and exciting example, of a non-profit public/private partnership at its highest and best.