Richmond Co. celebrates struggling students who've improved in first 9 weeks

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News 12 This Morning/Monday Oct. 28, 2013

(WRDW)--"I'm a single mom so taking care of the three of them and going to school has been a struggle," said Kyala King.

But through the struggle comes a time of celebration for King as one of her daughters, Kendall, is recognized in Richmond County's first ever Nine Weeks Student Academic Recognition Day.

"She went from C's to this year to practically all A's," King explained. "So, this is a real boost to her self esteem and everything."

Boosting the self esteem of students is one of the by products School Board President Venus Cain was hoping for when she came up with the idea of this ceremony.

"I noticed at the Board, we always bring in our achieving students [and] our over achievers and we celebrate them," said Cain. "But, we never celebrate the struggling student that makes progress."

Cain, along with Superintendent Dr. Frank Roberson say this day is about celebrating every achievement--no matter how small.

"In some cases it would be to move from one grade, which may be below failing, to failing," Dr. Roberson explained. "And then from failing to something higher than that."

More than 500 students spanning all grades join Kendall in being recognized for their improvements.

She tells me it's the first time she's received an award like this.

"I'm feeling good and so happy," said Kendall.

And King says seeing her daughter walk across that stage with confidence will help them both continue working hard to get her across other stages in the future.

"I'm just extremely proud of her," said King." I'm just so elated. This is really going to be a good start for her and I think she's just going to go up from here."

There was so much staff and parental support for this event that it had to be moved to bigger premises to accommodate everyone.

For the future, officials tell me they are considering splitting the award ceremonies into section or across days so all students and parents can continue to be present.