Wichita fourth-graders meet homework challenge

Generic school desk

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A fourth-grade class in Wichita has defied expectations and met a challenge requiring every student to complete homework assignments for 100 consecutive days.

Brianna Falvey’s class at Colvin Elementary School in Wichita set the goal in September. Two students did not have their homework done in October, so the class had to start over, but the students hit the 100-day goal on Friday, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/QIiCnP ).

Now Falvey has to make good on a promise she made to her students if they met the challenge. On Monday, she’ll teach class with her hair dyed orange and wearing a prom dress. After a banner proclaiming the accomplishment was unveiled Friday, students in the class cheered and hugged one another.

Despite having to start over and a few letters and emails to Falvey calling her the meanest teacher in the world, the fourth-graders completed their homework every evening and turned it in every morning.

“Sometimes I just wanted to go to my bed and not do my homework,” said Christina Gardea, 10. “But then I would think about the 100 days and how the other kids were counting on me, and I did my homework.”

Falvey said the challenge taught students persistence, teamwork and personal responsibility. It galvanized the students and others at the school in Planeview, one of Wichita’s poorest neighborhoods, where nearly 98 percent of students are from low-income families.

“When you do big things, when you push people to do more than what is normally expected, you’re going to get some resistance,” Falvey said. “You’re also going to make mistakes. Things happen, and that’s OK. But if you really believe in something, you wipe away everything else, and you put your head down and just go.

“The kids were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to do this.’ It was all them,” she said.

The students also earned cash from a friend of Falvey who pledged $10 for every day of completed homework. If the students keep completing their homework until the end of the school year, the class will get $1,370, Falvey said. The kids decided to spend some of the money on a field trip to an amusement park and to treat themselves and four other Colvin classes to a Wichita State baseball game.

“I feel very excited because people said we couldn’t do it, but we did it,” said Fabian Holguin, 10. “I knew we could.”

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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