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North Queensland Toyota Cowboys legend and community engagement officer Matt Bowen took the 650-kilometre trip north recently to visit Cooktown State School for the Try for 5! program.

Try for 5! school attendance challenge

Proudly sponsored by the Australian Government, LGIAsuper and Skytrans, the Try for 5! visit saw a number of primary school groups enjoy skills and drills with the ex-Cowboy, as a reward for increasing their school attendance percentage.

The visit kicked off with football games and activities on the field with classes of all ages, with 'Mango' challenging senior school students to a game of table tennis during the lunch break.

Bowen said that visiting regional schools throughout North Queensland was always rewarding, and that he enjoys seeing students committed to going to school each day to get a good education.

“It was great to see Cooktown in such high spirits after some challenges in Term 2, and making a real effort to come to school every day,” he said.

Designed to address short and long-term impacts of students missing foundation learning in their primary years through poor school attendance, Try for 5! motivates, engages and rewards individual classes, schools and schools for their attendance record during the challenge period, and engages students and families using the club's profile and ambassadors.

Try for 5! is structured to reinforce a positive school culture, communicate high expectations of attendance, and record and follow-up student absences and provide support where required.