More than 100 high-performing local elementary students were rewarded with a special screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The students saw what is now the highest grossing movie in the U.S. on a “flex Friday” for the Bullhead City Elementary School District.
Costs were underwritten by donations from area businesses and individuals. Students were selected based upon academic achievement and performance. No regular class time was affected.
Fifty-six students participated from Diamondback Elementary School, where principal Martin Muecke rewarded fourth and fifth grade honor roll students.
At Coyote Canyon School, nearly fifty third through fifth grade students were selected for perfect attendance, A-B honor rolls and straight A honor rolls, according to principal Buffy Moreno.
The screening was coordinated with the Brenden Theatres at the Avi Resort & Casino in Laughlin and arranged by teacher Rafael Danam, who enthusiastically refers to himself as the students’ “Jedi master.”
“I proposed this as a motivation for student achievement within our community,” said Danam, a U.S. Army Airborne Infantry veteran and member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves who joined the Department of Defense’s “Troops To Teachers” program for his certification. “This is positive reinforcement of our students’ academic achievement.”
Danam is also a volunteer firefighter with the Pinion Pines Fire Department near Kingman, and works part time as an EMT.
Area businesses and individuals that underwrote the cost of the tickets included the Avi Resort & Casino, Coyote Canyon and Diamondback Elementary Parent-Teacher Organizations, Firehouse Coffee Company, Harrah’s HERO Committee, Swanty’s of Bullhead City, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1005, the Western Arizona Regional Medical Center emergency department staff, Zubrick’s T-Shirts, along with James and Wendy Gustafson and Philip and Nancy Mongeau.
Employees of both schools and the Bullhead City Elementary and Colorado River Union High School Districts also contributed.