Chomebooks on the line for students with top attendance numbers

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Nancy Loud School Principal Erin Mahoney, left, and Maple Street Magnet School teacher Sue Abbiati with Chromebooks donated to their schools by The Napoli Group. (Courtesy photo)

ROCHESTER - By the end of the school year, eight Rochester elementary school students with strong attendance records will earn a new Chromebook laptop, thanks to a donation from a local business.

The Napoli Group continued its ongoing support for the district's Challenge 5 initiative, which is now in its second year, by donating laptops to each of the city's elementary schools. The Chromebooks will ultimately be distributed as grand prizes for students who succeed within the Challenge 5 program, which encourages kids to miss five or fewer school days each year.

"Challenge 5 is so important because it brings education to the forefront of kids' minds, both inside and outside of school," Nancy Loud School Principal Erin Mahoney said. "Being recognized for doing something good is always a nice thing, and it's great to see it become something that the whole community is invested in."

Last year, The Napoli Group - owners of area McDonald's franchises including both in Rochester - donated one Chromebook and hundreds of free sundae coupons to the Challenge 5 program. They were also among the more than 20 businesses that donated prizes of varying size, or displayed Challenge 5 signage in their storefronts, in support of the program.

"We've had such a great relationship with the Rochester Schools for such a long time, and this is an important program that we're happy to continue to support," Napoli Group Brand Ambassador Larry Johnston said. "I think the biggest marker of success for us has been what we've been able to reinvest into our communities, and so we're very proud to be able to contribute in this way."

Throughout last year, students were pleasantly surprised to be called to their school's front office to collect rewards, ranging from restaurant coupons to computers, for their strong attendance records.

"This truly is a community initiative that keeps everyone moving in the right direction," Assistant Superintendent Kyle Repucci said. "It's important for us to recognize our students' successes, and while showing up may seem like a small thing, it's one of the most essential things kids can do to ensure their sustained success at school and beyond."

In the first year of its Challenge 5 campaign, Rochester Schools saw a drop in the number of students missing days throughout the year. Districtwide, there was a 2 percent drop in the number of students missing six or more days, a 3 percent drop in students missing 11 or more days and a 6 percent decrease in the number of students missing 16 or more days.

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