Paul Loupe of Horace Mann Insurance in Leesville has instituted a program to encourage and reward students and education employees for achieving perfect attendance.
Each six-weeks two students from Vernon and Sabine Parish who earn perfect attendance receive a brand new bicycle and an employee of the Vernon and Sabine Parish School Board receives a $100 gift card.
“I began this project two years ago, and it is incredibly rewarding,” said Loupe.
A former educator, Loupe believes that instilling the importance of attendance early is one of the key factors in success for students.
“You have to stress the importance of attendance at an early age,” said Loupe.
At the end of each six-weeks school secretaries submit the names of all who have achieved perfect attendance to Loupe’s office, and, with a raffle style drawing, the winners are selected.
“It is a great feeling when I am able to give a brand new bicycle to a student as a reward for their performance,” said Loupe.
One of the recipients keeps the bicycle in her room because she doesn’t want it to be out in the weather, said Loupe.
Horace Mann Educators Corporation was founded in Springfield, Illinois, in 1945.
Originally named the IEA (Illinois Education Association) Mutual Insurance Company, Horace Mann was established by two teachers who saw a need for providing auto insurance for their association members.
Later, IEA Mutual was renamed Horace Mann. The name was chosen to honor the father of American public education and symbolized the company’s commitment to the welfare of the education community.
Mann was known as an American education reformer and is credited with securing better equipped school houses, longer school years (until 16 years old), higher pay for teachers, and a wider curriculum during the 19th century.
“We (Horace Mann) are a company dedicated to educators. Providing bicycles and gift cards is just one more way to give back,” said Loupe.