Thomson High School is partnering with businesses around the county to reward juniors who achieve over and above what is required on their Georgia High School Graduation Test.
Around 320 juniors took the test on March 19 through 22. A score of 500 is required to graduate, but the school hopes to give discounts at area businesses to students who scored 516 or higher.
"But it's also not just about getting something. It's about excelling and going above and beyond, putting in extra effort, not just to meet the standard but to exceed the standard," said Deborah P. Bell, the parent volunteer in charge of coordinating the effort.
The discounts will be available through a VIP card similar to the fundraiser cards the Thomson Middle School band sells that include discounts at area restaurants. Right now, parent volunteers are contacting businesses to figure out what products would be appropriate to add to the cards.
"I think what it's going to do more than anything, probably, is to be an incentive for future classes," Ms. Bell said. "They're going to see what this class is going to get, and they're going to want that, too."
The response to the program has been very positive so far. Ms. Bell said the list of participating businesses is growing as she makes follow up contacts after a letter she sent out at the end of March.
"I must commend our area businesses. When I say it's for the kids, they're like 'Whatever you need, let me know,'" Ms. Bell said.
And it's not too late to help out. Business owners wanting to participate in the program can call Ms. Bell at 706-799-2290. She said she is hoping to include as many businesses as she can.