Students in nine schools across Queensland received special visits from North Queensland Toyota Cowboys and Broncos stars over the last weeks of the 2016 school year as part of the Try for 5! program.
The schools have been participating in Try for 5! during Terms 2, 3 and 4 this year with the aim of lifting school attendance rates.
Try for 5! uses the profile of Queensland’s favourite game – rugby league – and sporting stars to engage and challenge students, families, classes and schools to outdo each other in the attendance stakes.
Results have been measured against attendance records for the same period last year and although it only started at the beginning of Term 2, there have been significant improvements in all schools.
Designed as a challenge between classes and between schools and supported by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Try for 5! has motivated and rewarded individual classes and schools for their attendance achievements during the challenge period.
Cowboys life member and community ambassador Matthew Bowen recently visited primary schools in Dunwich, Cunnamulla, Mt Isa, Garbutt and Yarrabah to award prizes to winning classes and students, while former Bronco Scott Prince visited Weipa, Mapoon, Cooktown and Murgon.
While all of the participating schools showed improved attendance during the Try for 5! program, Garbutt State School was one that Matthew Bowen singled out to highlight the impact of the program.
“Try for 5! has been running at Garbutt since the beginning of Term 2 and the staff, students and their families have gotten right behind it,” Bowen said.
“The positive impact on school attendance rates compared to last year has been fantastic. There was one week where attendance was over 10 percentage points higher than last year.
“There are a lot of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at Garbutt and I’m particularly proud of the efforts they and their families are making to improve school attendance.
“There were a number of weeks this term where the Indigenous kids have had a better attendance rate than the school as a whole.
“Good school attendance is absolutely essential to getting a good education."
Try for 5! is a joint initiative of the North Queensland Cowboys, Brisbane Broncos and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
More information: cowboys.com.au/try-for-5
Matthew Bowen at Dunwich State School for Try for 5!