JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - Since 1982 the U.S. Department of Education has been honoring schools across the country with the Blue Ribbon Award.
Out of 3,000 schools across the state, two have been chosen right here in East Texas. What better way to reward the students and staff for doing such a great job than free ice cream? Blue Bell made sure every student got their just desserts.
The West Side Elementary students all screamed for ice cream in a different way. They did by keeping their mouths closed at all the right times and a lot of hard work.
"There are 8,000 campuses in the state of Texas," said Jacksonville I.S.D. Superintendent Joe Wardell. "Twenty-five are chosen for their achievement and two of them are right here in Jacksonville, Texas."
"For the last three years we've been a T.E.A. Exemplary Campus, and last year all the students on this campus that took the state assessments passed," said West Side Principal Sandi Jones. "We had 100%."
The Department of Education only gives 304 awards nationwide. So, this is a big deal, but so is eating ice cream in class, thanks to the "Blue-Bellians" - representatives from Blue Bell Ice Cream out of Longview. Fred Douglas Elementary School in Jacksonville also received Blue Bells and ribbons. What do the kids think of the cold creamy goodness?
"I want to marry it," said one second grader.
"Right in the cup," said a second grader.
"I love it," stated another.
"I eat it slow," a seven-year-old said.
"I eat it real fast," one added.
"With my hands!" another said.
There were no reports of ice cream headaches, and everyone was able to get back to work pretty quickly to make sure they live up to that Blue Ribbon Award.
In Mid-November six staff members from each school will travel to Washington D.C. for a Blue Ribbon ceremony and flag presentation. Each school can fly the flag for five years, after which they will again be eligible for another Blue Ribbon Award.