Photo courtesy of Clear Channel.
Ashley Martinez received the number two when she arrived at South Chicago Dodge the morning of June 23. As it turned out, two was her lucky number.
Ashley and her parents, Luis and Carolina Martinez of the southwest side, were winners of a 2008 Dodge Caliber, the grand prize in the Chicago Public Schools 2007-08 Perfect Attendance Incentive Program.
Ashley and 18 other CPS perfect attendance students from a pool of 150 finalists came to South Chicago Dodge for a chance at the grand prize. After all of the students picked a key, they and their parents or guardians queued up to see whose key would start the car.
Ashley’s key did the trick.
A total of 189,115 perfect attendance student names were entered into a database for the grand prize. Students were eligible for the grand prize based on their record of perfect attendance during any or all of the three contest periods: September through November, December through February, and March through May.
From that number, 150 finalists were randomly selected for a chance to win the car, which was donated by CPS partner Clear Channel in cooperation with South Chicago Dodge, 7340 S. Western Ave.
Ashley, who just completed sixth grade at John Eberhart Elementary School, 3400 W. 65th Place, boasted perfect attendance in two of the three CPS contest periods during the 2007-08 school year.
Now in its third year, the Perfect Attendance Incentive Program has also featured laptops, family vacations, gift cards, museum passes and college scholarships as awards to CPS students who qualified by virtue of attending school every day.
The Perfect Attendance Incentive Program has yielded some dramatic results. At a recent ceremony honoring perfect attendance students from March and April, data showed that the number of students who did not miss a day of school during this period compared to the same months in the 2006-07 school year increased more than four-fold.
In March and April of 2008, more than 85,000 CPS students had perfect attendance, meaning no absences, no tardies, no unauthorized early dismissals, no cuts and no suspensions. During the same period last year, the number of perfect attendance students was 20,700.