Ten schools across Arkansas are receiving grant money from the Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math and Sciences. Advanced Placement exams are graded on a scale from 1 to 5. AP students who scored a three or higher are honored for their hard work with a $100 check. Greene County Tech in Paragould was one of the schools and at a special ceremony on Tuesday, 54 students walked away with a little extra spending money.
President of AAIMS, Tommie Sue Anthony was excited to hand out the checks to the deserving students.
"I have had more fun going to our ten schools and handing out checks," Anthony says, "When I finish today I will have handed out seventy-five thousand dollars in checks to students in Arkansas."
Kem Drake, Administrator for the GCT Gifted Program, says she feels like the students are her own and she is so proud of them all.
"It's not for us," she says, "It's for the kids and to see this many step up to the plate...it's phenomenal."
GCT Senior Julia Kueter shares in the pride of what her and her fellow peers have accomplished, but says a lot of credit goes to their teachers.
"They've actually become like a family with us," she claims, "They give us encouragement not only in our work but also in real-life situations."
GCT has 32 AP classes available to students. According to Tech's records, in 2004, 207 students were enrolled in AP classes. In 2009, that number rose to 1,151. The total number of students who scored a 3, 4 or 5 on their AP exams rose from 13 in 2004 to 83 in 2009.
The other schools who are receiving grant money include: Parkview, Springdale Har-Ber, Springdale, El Dorado, Greenbriar, Lake Hamilton, Wibur D. Mills in Little Rock and Newport.