The first term of the 2018 school year was a busy one for Cowboys ambassadors Ray Thompson and Matthew Bowen as they visited 14 primary schools across North Queensland to promote, challenge and celebrate students' efforts to improve their school attendance.
With the support of Sun Metals, the boys visited the schools as part of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys Try for Five! program, which challenges students, classes and schools to improve school attendance and reduce student absences.
The most improved school in Term 1 was Palm Island's Bwgcolman Community School, followed by Vincent State School and Lockhart State School in Lockhart River.
"It might not sound like much when, for example, Bwgcolman Community School's attendance rate increased by 3.5% points from 77.3% in Term 1, 2017 to 80.8% in Term 2, 2018," Ray Thompson said.
"But when you consider that this is the equivalent of 324 fewer student days absent in 2018 compared to 2017, you get a good understanding of what students and the Try for Five! program are achieving."
Within each of the schools Sun Metals is supporting through Try for Five!, each student is encouraged to achieve 100 per cent attendance and classes are challenged to out-perform each other with fortnightly prizes and Try for 5! Hero awards for the best performing.
"Not only does the Try for Five! challenge apply to individuals and classes, all fourteen participating schools are competing against each other to become the overall champion of the Sun Metals Try for Five! School Challenge for 2018 and receive a framed, team-signed Cowboys jersey to display in their school foyer," Ray Thompson said.
"Our visits to schools aim to encourage good attendance and reward real achievements. We back up those visits with fortnightly video messages from Matty and I to celebrate those achievements."
School participating in the Sun Metals Try for 5! Challenge are Aitkenvale, Ayr, Currajong, Heatley, Kelso, Lockhart, Magnetic Island, Rasmussen, Townsville West, Vincent, Weir, and Wulguru State Schools, along with Bwgcolman Community School and St Michael's Catholic School on Palm Island.
Underlining their commitment to the Try for 5! program, Sun Metals Chief Financial Officer, Kathy Danaher, explained: "A large number of our Sun Metals employees are parents themselves, and we all want the best for our North Queensland kids."
"The Cowboys have given us an opportunity to give back to the community and invest in the future of our city by supporting the Try for 5! program.
"Well done to the students and the schools that have achieved some great results," Ms Danaher said.