“Score a Goal” Scores NBC Universal Grant

"Score a Goal in the Classroom" is one of four North Texas organizations to receive a grant from the NBC Universal Foundation to expand or continue programs.

It's got a long name, but its goal is simple: educate children and keep them in school.

Score a Goal in the Classroom's programs are designed to encourage and motivate students from kindergarten through 12th grade with positive rewards.

"What you see as you work with these students is, they have a lot of ability, but sometimes what they're lacking is someone to give them a pat on the back and encourage them to continue to study hard and be successful," said volunteer Eddie Hale.

Hale is a strong believer in the "Stay on track, stay in school" program, which includes a speaker's bureau and mentoring program.

"We go in every Thursday, we mentor the kids, we talk about other things they may be doing in their life and encourage them to continue to progress in their education," Hale said.

Gary Ponder, the assistant principal of Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth, said he believes the program provides real motivation for his students.

"We see improvement in grades, (and) we see obviously higher graduation rates," he said.

The reading skills and test scores of younger students also improve.

"They're receptive, they're excited about it, they enjoy it, (and) they look forward to it," he said. "And so much as students can, they see the benefits. It helps them see their total educational picture better."

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