New program encourages better attendance at Emerson Academy

New program encourages better attendance at Emerson Academy

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Officials at an alternative high school in Owensboro are working on a new plan to give students an incentive to come to class. They’re hoping to inspire them for a future after high school.

The EARN program, or Emerson Academy Resiliency Network, has been in the works for about a year after attendance was an issue for many of the students.

The program allows students to earn money by attending all of their classes.

“A lot of alternative kids slack on that and don’t think that they’re going to go to college because they’re so behind in school, and they think that they have so many responsibilities that they wouldn’t manage to have time for any of that," said Miguel Algulier, Emerson Academy Senior. "But this is a second chance for us to go to college. It really brightens up our future.”

It also pairs students with mentors in the community, and gives students exposure to real-world working, like landscaping.

“They’ll get an idea of what interests them throughout the year so that maybe that way they can have a better idea when they graduate what area they want to be a part of," said Kevin Thompson, Emerson Academy Principle.

For the eight students in the program now, it means a lot to have people in the community believing in them, and the principal hopes it will soon expand to all the students.

“You see their attendance, their attitude," said Thompson. "That’s why I’m really hoping that it evolves into a total school project so that all of our students are that excited about being at school and being a part of something.”

The EARN students will go to Independence Bank on Thursday to open their account. The school says the students won’t be able to access the money until they graduate and will earn between $1,500-$3,000 over the course of the year.

All of the money has been donated by private donors.

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