In one second grade class at Reeves Elementary, students are learning about Japanese culture. They're testing their ability to use chopsticks to pick up bananas, chips and even M&Ms.
The cultural diversity program is one of many reasons the Long Beach school won the Mississippi Blue Ribbon Award. The award honors schools for unique programs that achieve excellence in curriculum, technology, fine arts and even parental involvement.
Teacher Debra Jackson says being recognized for the things they do makes them feel special. She says it's nice that somebody realizes the school is doing a good job. Principal Roni Sprinkle says it's like icing on the cake, because it proves what the school is doing really means something. She says the award shows Reeves is an effective school, so she's been on cloud nine for a few days.
The award has also stirred up pride and excitement among students. Jena Cox thinks it's neat. She says the education at the school is good and the activities they do are fun. Michael Hammons says students get a good education, they get to do fun things and the teachers are really cool. Principal Sprinkle says the Blue Ribbon Award has given the school a renewed spark and enthusiasm.
Besides Reeves Elementary, two other Coast schools also won the state Blue Ribbon Award. They are Magnolia Park and Taconi Elementary Schools in Ocean Springs. The state winners will now compete for the National Blue Ribbon honor.