School attendance program ‘rolls on’ despite COVID-19 obstacles

Student achievement remains the focus at Chickasha Rotary’s unique Roll Call program. From left are Gerron Smith and John Gorton of Rotary; Lincoln Principal Dr. Ashanti-Alexander; and Ed Stanton of Rotary. Not picture are the actual student winners:  Pa’tyn Blakes, Dylan Padgett, Addison Ferguson, Marco Castro, Skylee Knapp, Zachary Riede, Donivan Byrd and Orwin Robinson.

Eight deserving students from Lincoln Elementary will be receiving bikes to start their summer break, courtesy of Chickasha’s Rotary Roll Call Program. 

Rotarians Ed Stanton, John Gorton, and Gerron Smith met with Lincoln school Principal Dr. Raushan Ashanti-Alexander on the last day of school to present certificates and pull names from the hat despite the restrictions of COVID-19. 

Roll Call chairman John Gorton said even though the students couldn’t be there, the Rotary Club is committed to recognizing student achievement.  “The students worked hard and made efforts to be at school – it’s important and we wanted to let students know that even in the midst of the challenges, we still recognize and salute their efforts.”

The Roll Call program, in its second year, was started in 2018 as a way to encourage students to be in class. Each 9 weeks, students with perfect attendance are presented with a certificate of merit and entered into a drawing to win a bicycle complete with lock and helmet. Since its inception the program has presented over 800 certificates and awarded 56 bicycles. Perhaps the most exciting thing to come out of the program so far though is the news of Lincoln’s improved state report card grade. 

Ashanti-Alexander reported an improvement from a C to B and attendance was largely attributed to the new score. “The Club’s mission is to make a difference in our community. Knowing that this program truly is making a difference is just so exciting,” said club President-elect Ed Stanton. 

For more information about the Chickasha Rotary Club and its Roll Call Program, visit

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