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Celtics Reward Students For Improving Grades, Perfect Attendance

BOSTON (CBS) - For hundreds of school kids, Thursday was a day of smiles and excitement, and for all the right reasons. The students were rewarded for having perfect attendance and improving their grades.

It's the latest effort to encourage young people to stay in school, and the Boston Celtics threw the party. It was an indoor carnival at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center complete with cotton candy, popcorn and plenty of fun.

"I think it's good that the Celtics can support these kinds of programs for kids because it encourages us to do better in school," says Isabella Cessa, a student at the Eliot School in Boston's North End.

Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk made the rounds, posing for pictures and congratulating the kids. The celebration gave about 1500 public school students from Boston and Lawrence a well-deserved pat on the back for not missing a day of class and for pumping up their grades.

Kelly Olynyk
Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk poses with students at indoor carnival (WBZ-TV)

"It's nice. It's a reward for being in school, staying in school," says Anwar Abdi who attends the Hennigan School in Jamaica Plain.

"It's important because you need your education for your future life," adds Helen Geng, a student at the Eliot School.

The two programs behind this effort are called "Step Your Game Up" and "Stay In School."

"Just to show them their hard work, dedication, sacrifice pay off, that's what life is all about. And they'll be able to carry that through as long as they live," Kelly Olynyk said.

"It's an important message to send. Kids start to think about dropping out in 9th, 10th grade. This is really about keeping kids in school," says Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

And it let's the young people know the rest of us honor their achievements. "I think it's cool that they gave us this," says Ayuub Abdi who goes to the Hennigan School.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones reports

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