At East Hartford High School: Eggs, sausage and… Bingo!

By Corey AmEnde - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Thu., Feb. 27, 2014
Sophomore Isaiah Collins is served breakfast during the honors breakfast Bingo on Friday, Feb. 21.  Photos by Corey AmEnde.
Sophomore Isaiah Collins is served breakfast during the honors breakfast Bingo on Friday, Feb. 21. Photos by Corey AmEnde.

Randomly yelling out words during school hours is usually frowned upon at East Hartford High School – unless that word is "Bingo."

Students who achieved general and high honors for the second quarter were treated to breakfast and a game of Bingo last month.  Nearly 500 students were named to the honor roll and thus qualified for the breakfast. 

Due to the large number of students, the upperclassman had their breakfast and Bingo on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and the freshman and sophomores had their breakfast the following day. Since the free breakfast and Bingo game were held at the beginning of the school day, students got to miss first period and part of second period.

The breakfast Bingo is part of an overall program to honor and celebrate the students who are achieving general and high honors.  Students must have at least a 3.0 grade point average to make the honor roll. The program was founded last school year and calls for different celebrations each quarter, except for the fourth quarter, when students are on summer break. 

“We found that we were lacking in celebrating the students that got general and high honors, other than providing them with a little note on their report card or a letter,” said Yesenia Hernandez, the student activities coordinator. “I thought it would be a good idea to create an event every quarter if you got honors.”

“In the past, we’ve brought in a hypnotist, we’ve brought in mind readers, we’ve brought in magicians; and this time we thought we’d do something a little more interactive with all students, and we did honors Bingo,” said Hernandez.

There were a variety of prizes for the lucky students who yelled out "Bingo."  After getting Bingo, students got to choose from numbered boxes that each contained a prize. The prizes ranged in value from Pop Tarts to a $40 gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings.

Calling the numbers for this fun morning activity was none other than Principal Matt Ryan. “These kids come here every day, they do everything they’re supposed to do,” said Ryan. He added that although the school is very adept at handling students who need to be disciplined, it’s also nice to honor the students who are getting their work done in the classroom.

Assistant Principal Allison Anderson echoed Ryan’s comment that it is important to honor the students who are doing well in school.
“Sometimes in big schools like this, the kids who are doing everything right – going to class, doing their homework – they get forgotten, and so this is really nice to reward them and let those kids that are maybe on the cusp of doing well see what’s going on and see that if I start picking up my game maybe I can come to breakfast and play Bingo,” said Anderson. 

She said the breakfast serves two purposes. “It’s to reward these guys, but also to motivate those kids that are kind of in the middle and we want to move them on up to come here,” added Anderson.

The students are taking notice. Hernandez said she saw an increase in the number of students who achieved honor roll in the second quarter. “Generally in the first quarter we see a little over 500 every time and that’s because freshmen generally make it the first time,” explained Hernandez. “The second time we see a decline, and this time around we actually saw a higher number this time than last year. The kids are noticing that they’re getting rewarded for it.”

“They enjoy a lot of the performances,” added Hernandez. “It’s interesting because last year we brought in an illusionist and then he made it on 'America’s Got Talent,' so they were very excited that they met a celebrity before he made it on television.”

Hernandez said the plan for the third quarter honor roll celebration is to have a staff versus students basketball game.  She said there will also be basketball-related challenges and t-shirts that will be tossed into the crowd. “There’s not always a prize, but we were fortunate enough to be able to give out prizes this time and next time,” said Hernandez.

Although there isn’t a solid date yet for the game, Hernandez anticipates this event will take place in late April or the beginning of May.
Hernandez added that the honor roll celebrations are held at different times of day throughout the school year so students aren’t always missing the same classes.

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