Lansing students respond to some imaginative incentives

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Sexton High School student Zamani Rogers speaks about The Playbook’s impact during the district board meeting Thursday night.

The Lansing School District Board of Education last week agreed to be in contract negotiation with the School Days Foundation, implementing the foundation’s new program The Playbook to schools. Motivational speaker Dr. Eric Thomas leads the project.

The program was piloted at Sexton High School, which is giving students an overwhelming amount of opportunities, including getting to attend this year’s Super Bowl. High school senior Zamani Rogers spoke of the impact The Playbook and Thomas’ team  had on her schoolwork and in her life.

“Getting to see a different city, coming from Lansing where I’ve seen all parts of the city, it gave me something to look forward to in life,” said Rogers. “Being able to go on this trip encouraged me so much more to make sure that I am making these deadlines for colleges, and that I’m getting all my work done so I can live the dream of mine.”

One of the main focuses of The Playbook’s mission is to encourage students to do well in their studies, emphasizing literacy for everyone. Literacy is one of the biggest issues the Lansing school district faces. This program hopes to address that. With the pilot group at Sexton, 76% of students have raised their GPAs, and there has been a 75% decrease in disciplinary actions and referrals. Sexton High School Principal Daniel Boggan emphasized the effort by School Days administrators is what really impacted students.

“The contact that was made by School Days members was motivation for our students to continue to read, to continue to stay up on their assignments, and checking in with their teachers, and to be purposeful about their work,” said Boggan. “It was extremely exciting to see them get excited about reading and things that they were learning, and their creation of new habits.”

Lansing school board members hope the work of the School Days Foundation and Thomas will have a great impact on students. Treasurer Rachel Willis said she is excited and eager to start implementing The Playbook.

“The opportunities, and even just to have access to Dr. Thomas as a motivational speaker is a huge win for students in this district,” said Willis. “We think this is a wonderful program to get involved in our schools.”