Dauphin high school giving away vehicles for good attendance

A high school in Dauphin, Man. has taken a unique approach to encourage excellent attendance — they give away a vehicle, among other things.

If Dauphin students have a 90% attendance rate all year they can enter a contest to win a vehicle

Grade 10 student Zach Zurba was the lucky winner of this year's contest. (Submitted by Steven Cote)

A high school in Dauphin, Man., has taken a unique approach to encourage excellent attendance — they give away a vehicle, among other things.

Every time a student at Dauphin Regional Comprehensive Secondary School has a week of perfect attendance, they are eligible to enter a monthly draw for prizes including iPads, GoPros, and fishing gear.

At the end of the year, if students have 90 per cent attendance, those ballots go into a grand prize draw for a new vehicle.

"Our motto is that if you're here, we can build relationships," said Patty Goodine, a teacher and chair of the attendance project. "Through those relationships we can help guide students, help them be successful and eventually to graduate."

The contest began a few years ago. Goodine said the school had been giving away smaller prizes for attendance until a secretary offered up her older model BMW as a prize. 

Since then, the contest has gained traction among students and the local business community, she said. 

Attendance rates up

For the last few years, Twin Motors in Dauphin has donated the vehicle. Next year, another local dealership has offered up a used Jeep Grand Cherokee. 

As for student attendance, Goodine said its improved by roughly 20 per cent. 

"It's a win-win," she said. "Anything extra that can get them here, especially those that struggle because of mental health issues or homelessness or poverty, or those ones that are here and committed — they should be recognized too.

The contest is advertised to students all year long at school. (Submitted)

This year, the school gave away a 2004 Chevy Avalanche truck. Grade 10 student, Zach Zurba, was the lucky winner.

"It was on my mind for a while," he said. "It was just a thrill."

The 15-year-old can't get behind the wheel just yet. Zurba is recovering from a rugby injury and will not be starting his driver's education next month, he said. 

Although he thinks it has encouraged others to get to class, the school president and athlete said he didn't need the extra motivation. 

"Attendance is really important to me," he said. "I would go to school anyway, no matter what."

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with files from Janice Grant

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