St. Croix Central High School (CHS) sophomore Kiara Ortiz won the Achieve 3000 “Make the Break” Winter Holiday Contest — a contest that calls for students to complete independent study lessons in content areas during the winter holiday break.
She is one of over 50 winners from across the United States.
Achieve 3000 Project Manager Julie Eckard presented Kiara with a certificate and gift on Jan. 30, during a small ceremony held in chemistry teacher Dr. Laura Mujica’s classroom.
Kiara Ortiz was motivated to participate in the contest not only to receive extra credit but to improve her skills.
“I began the contest because I was inspired to do better. I wanted to be better because why not?” Ortiz said. “At first I thought it was boring. I didn’t feel like doing it. Then I started doing it. And from that moment I was like ‘wow this is interesting,’ so I continued.”
The Achieve 3000 Winter Holiday Contest challenged students to complete five lessons between Dec. 22, 2018 through Jan. 6, 2019, with an activity score of 75 percent or above. If a student completed 10 lessons or more with an activity score of 75 percent and above, it doubled the chance to win the contest.
Students were able to complete lessons in any subject of their choice. Kiara Ortiz completed hers in chemistry.
“Congratulations, we are so proud of you because over the holidays you went on your own and chose to work on your literacy. So, because of that, you are the winner for the territory,” said Julie Eckard.
“It’s terrific that you won the contest, but even more than that your Lexile level has already gone up 110 points, which is amazing,” the project manager said. “You should be really proud of yourself. And we hope you continue with Achieve 3000 and work on the program.”
Principal Carlos McGregor, Assistant Principal Dinah Browne, Acting Deputy Superintendent Dr. Carla Bastian and St. Croix District Director of Data and Assessments Dr. Saul Santiago were present for the ceremony along with Kiara’s mother and grandmother.
“On behalf of the Office of the Insular Superintendent, I want to wish you congratulations on your success. We hope that you continue to strive for academic excellence,” Bastian said. “I also want you to motivate others to join the activity and make sure that Achieve 3000 becomes a priority for them also.”
“I want to congratulate Mr. McGregor for the efforts in pushing the program, beyond just ELA (English Language Arts) courses — in other words, pushing it to other subject areas,” Santiago said.
Principal McGregor closed the ceremony with a few words of his own.
“Thank you to Julie for again coming into the school and reaching out to our teachers and making this program happen. We see the results; our students are doing better in literacy, especially on the state testing,” McGregor said. “I also want to thank Assistant Principal Browne, who supervises the ELA program and, of course, Dr. Mujica for encouraging our students to log on and pushing them to excel. Congratulations Kiara!”
“Besides the contest, she systematically met the achievements every single week, which encouraged other students to do the same. She set an example for them,” Mujica said.
Kiara received a certificate from Achieve 3000, a Singsation Solo Deluxe 5-in-1 Karaoke System and merchandise from local clothing brand Apollo Legion. She is one of over 50 winners from across the United States.
Achieve 3000 is the leader in online differentiated instruction, serving millions of students worldwide. Over 15 years, the company has been reaching students at their precise Lexile® reading levels to deliver significant reading gains—often double-to-triple the expected gains. Based on decades of scientific research, Achieve3000 patented online methodology for differentiated instruction provides engaging, nonfiction content that supports core curriculum, Response to Intervention, English language learning, special education, adult learning, workforce readiness, and other instructional models. Featuring comprehensive English and Spanish language support and extra scaffolding for struggling readers, these are aligned with the Common Core State Standards for English language arts as well as state standards for literacy and the content areas. Achieve3000 supports 21st-century education initiatives across content areas and is helping to put all students on the road to College and Career Readiness.