Schools adding 30+ clubs to help students with ACT success - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Schools adding 30+ clubs to help students with ACT success

The 30 plus club has become a new motivating force for students. Source: WLBT The 30 plus club has become a new motivating force for students. Source: WLBT
The 30 plus club has become a new motivating force for students. Source: WLBT The 30 plus club has become a new motivating force for students. Source: WLBT
The 30 plus club has become a new motivating force for students. Source: WLBT The 30 plus club has become a new motivating force for students. Source: WLBT
FLOWOOD, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The ACT is a high stakes test. The higher the score, the more money the student gets for college, and schools across the state are changing the way they look at motivation.

The state of Mississippi realized the importance of this test, so the legislature agreed the state would start paying for every high school junior to take the ACT. That started with the graduating class of 2016. Now, schools are taking that up a notch.

Northwest Rankin students aren't showing up on ACT test days feeling unprepared. Senior Brianna Berry found her motivation right in front of her.

"I took the ACT seven times but I got a 28 five times in a row," explained Berry.

The 30+ club was formed by the Rankin County School District as they thought of new ways to emphasize the importance of ACT success.

"They created the banners and you saw them everyday walking through school and so I was like I really want to be up there," added Berry. "So, I pushed myself even harder and ended up making a 31."

And that's the kind of encouragement the school is seeing more of.

"It just opens more doors," noted Northwest Rankin High School principal Ben Stein. "The higher they score on the ACT, the more doors it opens. We have a student who was just accepted to Harvard and will be going to Harvard next year."

Parents get bragging rights and a lighter load on footing the bill for college.

"In Mississippi you have state tests," said Stein. "State tests do not put a penny in a student's, pocket but they do have to have it to graduate. So, they're important. But the ACT puts money in the student's pocket which helps families. And that's why we have such a big push here."

"I think it covered most of my tuition, just having a 31," said Brianna Berry.

The district decided to start paying for every sophomore to take the ACT as well.

"We have a college and career preparatory specialist that designs boot camps, supports ACT Teachers for the classes that are offered in the school, and whatever else is needed related to ACT prep," explained Angy Graham, Rankin County School District Director for Secondary Curriculum and Instruction.

Meanwhile, the emphasis seems to be paying off.

"In Mississippi, only 2 percent of the students score 30 or higher," said Graham. "In Rankin county, we currently have 150 students in all 8 of our schools and some are even in middle school.

There are ceremonies recognizing students who do well on the ACT all throughout the state, and each district has taken on a different approach for how to motivate their students.

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