- Wiley Opportunity Center
Brazos High School offers Knights' Korner Store as incentive
A cornerstone of Brazos High School (BHS) Credit Recovery Center’s mission is providing a supportive learning environment that enables students to recover credits needed for graduation. Attendance remains one of the biggest struggles, and in many cases, is the lead reason students lost academic credits at their home campuses. When COVID forced a transition to remote learning last spring, BHS Principal Daphanie Latchison knew attendance would become a tougher challenge for her students. Latchison saw the demands and distractions the pandemic was placing on them, her colleagues, family, friends and even on herself. In response, she assembled her administration team over the summer to discuss the barriers, pitfalls and solutions to the "extended Spring Break."
Over the past few years, Brazos High has offered a snack incentive for credits. The administration team remembered how extremely motivating that was and the smiles it brought to the students’ faces. They collectively agreed that another incentive would help. Dropout Prevention Specialist/PCL, Kimberly Nwaeze, suggested the idea of a corner store. Playing off the campus mascot, she called it “Knights’ Korner Store.” The administration team loved it; not only did it provide an incentive, but it also enabled the opportunity to offer additional items. Staff recognized a need for non-perishable food and hygiene items for many of their students, which was compounded by the pandemic. From there, the administration team went to work discussing possible items to stock, how to fund it and requirements for the incentive.
Initially, Latchison started with snacks for the store and then personally supplemented it with non-perishable, hygiene and household items. To her, this was an investment. “It is my purpose and the driving force as a principal to see my students finish strong” Latchison said. Donations from the community started to pour in after a Facebook post highlighted the store’s grand opening. Since then, the store has stayed fully stocked and has even added fun items like basketballs.
So how do the students get to shop at the Knights’ Korner Store? Students choose a “want” and a “need” item from the store when they’ve met their weekly goal of four out of five days of attendance. Another attendance incentive is basket drawings. Once a week, 10 names are drawn for mini baskets of goods. The weekly drawing occurs randomly each week to keep students on their toes since you must be present at school to win. Nwaeze and her instructional aide, Kevin Rogers, manage the operations of the store. Rogers expressed how rewarding the job has been, especially during trying times like the pandemic. These “students are faced with adversities and still powered through until the end,” Rogers said.
Latchison says the Korner Store has been a significant factor in improving attendance by 50% since opening up shop. When asked if she plans to continue the program into next school year, she answered “Yes! Absolutely!” She hopes to see the attendance rates only grow from here.
The Korner Store is always accepting donations, which can be brought to Brazos High School at 3005 Edna Ave. Waco, TX 76708. Items such as toiletries, socks, domestic items, food/snacks, drinks and small accessories are appreciated! The campus is also available to pick up donated items. Call 254-754-9422 for more details.
- Daphanie Latchison, Principal
- Jessica Castillo, Assistant Principal
- Kimberly Nwaeze, Dropout Prevention Specialist/PCL
- Zoletta Robinson, PEIMS Specialist
- Christopher Wilson, Restorative Discipline Coordinator
- Starlet Bohannon, Counselor