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MDE Announces School Winners of Attendance Awareness Competition

November 30, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. – The Office of Compulsory School Attendance in the Mississippi Department of Education announced today the winners of its “Strive for Less Than Five attendance awareness campaign competition. The goal of the statewide competition was to encourage students to not miss school more than five days and to raise awareness of the long-term effects that missing school has on educational development.

Starting as early as preschool and kindergarten, chronic absence can leave 3rd graders unable to read proficiently, 6thgraders struggling with coursework and high school students off track for graduation.

The “Strive for Less Than Five competition categories included poster, literary, and video. All entries were judged on theme, quality of work, and student creativity. There were 108 submissions received. 

The winners of the competition are as follows:

First Place: The first place winner is Ms. Elvira Deyamport’s 4th grade class at Thames Elementary from the Hattiesburg Public School District. The students’ submission was a video that focused on when it’s okay and not okay to be absent from school.

Students participating: Video 1: Sean Curtis, Kelson Young 

                                         Video 2: Reagan Conner, Caleb Lott, Myah Eaton   

Second Place:  The second place winner is Ms. Annis Hennessy’s 2nd grade student, Sophie Scutch at Northside Elementary in the Pearl Public School District.  Sophie’s submission was a song she wrote to the tune of “One Call Away” by Charlie Puth. Her goal for writing this song was to encourage students to come to school and strive to miss less than five days a year.  Sophie hopes this catchy tune will remind others that school is fun and important. 

Third Place: The third place winner is Ms. Lisa Hadden’s 7th grade student, Tyler Allen at Northwest Rankin Middle School in the Rankin County School District. Tyler’s submission was an essay that addressed the prevalence and impact of excessive absences and/or poor attendance on students and school districts.

Fourth Place: The fourth place winner is Mrs. Melanie Lewis’ 3rd – 5th grade art class at Lafayette Upper Elementary in Lafayette County Schools. Their drawing was one of several from the schoolwide art competition that focused on the importance of school attendance. This particular submission was entitled: “Experimenting for Perfect Attendance!”

Fifth Place:  The fifth place winner includes the Pre-K – 8th grade music classes from the Utica Elementary and Middle schools in the Hinds County School District. Ms. Yosheeyaw Bogan is the music teacher who assisted with the development of this video project along with the support of principal, Dr. Will Smith, and assistant principal, Mrs. Lisa Moore.  The theme of the video is to promote perfect attendance, and the benefits that comes with it, both immediate, and in the future.

Media Contact: 
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR
Director of Communications

Jean Cook, APR
Communications Specialist