Principal Lisa Silva of The New American Academy Charter School (TNAACS), at 9301 Avenue B, might have gone a bit overboard when she issued a schoolwide challenge to her students and staff to pelt her with water balloons. But there was a caveat to her dare. In order to earn the privilege of raining water balloons on their principal, the students had to achieve a combined total of at least one million i-Ready minutes.
I-Ready is an online reading and math program that helps students, under their teachers’ guidance, to achieve academic success. Elias Marrero, TNAACS’ Student Recruitment and Parent Outreach Coordinator, told the Canarsie Courier, “I-Ready has been proven to help students read or exceed academic standards even when they utilize the program for as little as 45 minutes a week.”
Silva’s challenge was a just a shrewd means of encouraging her students to take advantage of the program. Propelled by the tempting reward, the students buckled down and ended up achieving a whopping 1.8 million minutes for their efforts!
On May 26th, the good-natured principal donned her goggles, snorkel, swim cap and rain poncho and stood in the middle of the schoolyard – surrounded by hundreds of eager students armed with water balloons – as “Follow the Leader” blared from a megaphone. It might as well have been “Hit Me With Your Best Shot!”