Cool at School: Program Uses Skateboarding to Boost Grades

LAS VEGAS - It may not look like a school, but a skate park at Innovations International Charter School of Nevada is part of the school's academic efforts.

Troy Adams helps run the skateboarding program. "They must maintain at least a C grade average. So, I'm on them every single day to make sure," he said.

Kids earn credit for skateboarding. More importantly, they're focused on keeping their other grades up. If they don't cut it in the classroom, they can't shred it on the ramps.

"I've seen kids go from unruly to actually focusing and bringing their grades up to C, B even A's. It does work," Adams said.

Tim Lay, one of the owners of Let It Roll Skateboard Store, helped donate equipment and skaters.

"We've also partnered with them last year to award the student with the best GPA to win a free skateboard," he said.

Ismael Gonzalez graduated from the program in 2010. He says skating taught him to work first and play later.

"It motivates me to keep my good grades. If I want to skate, I have to have a good average," he said. "I kept those grades up so I could skateboard, you know."

Ismael is now enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada. "I thought they were going to stop this," he said. "This is crazy that it's grown so much."

The program has seen 500 kids in six years with a 92% success rate.

If you wish to nominate a school for What's Cool at School, visit our website or e-mail us. You can also vote for your favorite program featured on What's Cool at School. The winning school will receive $250.


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