Eight hundred 6th grade Great Falls Public Schools (GFPS) students attended today’s University Of Providence women’s basketball game.
The main message of the event was: champions graduate. It was the perfect opportunity to get the students to experience the atmosphere of a college campus and to see an organized intercollegiate athletic event.
This event was part of Graduation Matters Great Falls Initiative, to get younger students thinking towards their future and to get students to realize to go to college, you must first do well and graduate from high school.
The Graduation Matters Initiative has been in the works the past 7 years, where GFPS has seen their drop-out rate cut in half.
Great Falls Public Schools Superintendent Tammy Lacey said, “It’s really a community effort to really move on the message forward that students need to graduate from high school, that it opens up doors for them and the school district is here to support that.”
Another component of today was to talk about the ‘character of champions.’ You don’t become a champion overnight, it takes hard work, focus, and good ethical teamwork to be successful in life.
Lacey added, “This way they can see it earlier on, maybe consider then in middle school going out for an organized athletic and get involved. We know that students that get involved in extracurriculars are more likely to graduate.”
Students showed their pride of their own elementary school by wearing their individual school colors to the game. They also heard from various special speakers during halftime.