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Learning is Cool program a success

The Learning is Cool program helped dramatically increase the number of Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) students in grades 1-8 earning the "A" Honor Roll in the second quarter this year compared to 2008-09.

In the 2008-09 academic year, 2,085 students earned the "A" Honor Roll during the second quarter. This year, 3,016 students earned the distinction during the same time period for a 45 percent increase.

"We are thrilled with the results we've seen this year with the Learning is Cool program," said Barbara Dundee, Executive Director of the Marvin Lewis Community Fund. "Combined with the 74 percent increase last quarter, this quarter's increase shows that we are helping to drive students toward academic success."

Learning is Cool is an educational incentive program that rewards students for strong academic performance. It is a collaborative effort between the Marvin Lewis Community Fund (MLCF) and CPS designed to encourage more than 19,256 CPS students in grades 1-8 to make the "A" Honor Roll each quarter. Students who make the "A" Honor Roll at least two quarters of the year are invited to an Academic Achievement Ceremony at Paul Brown Stadium.

In the first half of the year, the MLCF has visited CPS elementary schools with Bengals players Domata Peko, Robert Geathers, Johnathan Joseph and Roy Williams; local business leaders Scott Farmer of Cintas, Mike Schneider of Baker Concrete, Greg Ossman of Mercy Health Partners and Randy Corbitt of Trophy Awards; entertainer Bootsy Collins; and Local 12's Bob Herzog and Jen Dalton.

The students who earned the "A" Honor Roll this quarter will receive Learning is Cool dog tags. At the beginning of the school year, students received "Learning is Cool" notebooks filled with letters to every student from Coach Lewis and the players, a poster and a pencil. Teachers and principals can earn rewards as well, while the winning school is awarded new technology.

In the 2008-09 school year, the program helped increase the number of students achieving the honor roll by six percent from the first to fourth quarter. At the Academic Achievement Ceremony in June that 2,511 students were eligible to attend, those achieving the "A" Honor Roll in two quarters were recognized for their efforts. Coach Lewis and several of the Bengals players presented them with awards on the field at Paul Brown Stadium as the students' names were displayed on the scoreboard.

Bengals players participating as spokesmen for the program this year are Laveranues Coles, Robert Geathers, Johnathan Joseph and Domata Peko. Corporate partners for the program include Baker Concrete, Best Buy, Chef's Choice Catering, Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Enquirer, Cintas, Kroger, Local 12, Mercy Health Partners, The Merten Company, PNC, Teammates for Kids and Touchstone.

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