Marietta High School has started a new club that encourages students to pay attention to more than just reading, writing and arithmetic.
The school's AAA Club focuses on three criteria: attendance, academics and attitude, said Bill Lee, high school principal.
Schools often stress "Do what we say or we'll punish you," Lee noted.
"We're focusing on the positive instead of always focusing on the negative," he said.
With about 940 students at Marietta High School, Lee said more than 50 percent meet club qualifications.
"This is an opportunity for borderline students," said Lee. "Students can come to school, get their work done, follow the rules and get a chance to win prizes."
About MHS' AAA Club:
Where: Marietta High School.
Who: All students meeting eligibility criteria for attendance, academics and attitude.
Freshmen and sophomores: Can get coupons, prizes and more, and attend an honors lunch.
Juniors and seniors: Able to earn access to on-site parking passes, early dismissal, late arrivals and more.
To be eligible for club membership, students must have 95 percent attendance with no more than three unexcused days.
Students must also pass all their classes and have no in-school or out-of-school suspensions.
So far this school year, 76 seniors, 96 juniors and 91 sophomores have qualified for Marietta High School's AAA Club, Lee reported.
Freshmen will be qualified at the end of the first nine weeks of school, added Lee.
Freshmen and sophomores will be eligible for coupons, prizes, an honors lunch and more.
For juniors and seniors, perks include on-site parking passes, early dismissal and late arrivals.
According to Marietta High School senior Corey Spanner, 17, many students weren't fans of the AAA Club at first.
"A lot of kids aren't members and don't have access (to privileges)," noted Spanner. "So they're really working harder."
"We've put all this work in (at school), and we're really being rewarded for it," he added.
Spanner said he is excited to have more freedom at school. He especially likes being able to arrive at school later than usual.
"I don't show up to school until 9:30," he said. "I used to wake up at 6:30 to be at school by 7:40. Now I don't wake up until 9."
He's not the only student enjoying the club.
"It's definitely a privilege, that's for sure," said senior Amelia Cain, 17.
Thanks to her qualification for the AAA Club, she bought a $20 parking pass that lets her park on school campus.
"Without a parking pass, I couldn't get as easily to the PSEO (post secondary education options) classes I take at Marietta College," she said.
Lee said he sees these actions and the club as a way to be responsible to local residents.
"Marietta High School produces a product," he said. "We are a service agency. We're supposed to produce a high school graduate who can assimilate himself in the career of his choice."
Local businesses that have donated items to the AAA Club include Marietta businesses Workingman's Store and Stoked Coffee.
According to Lee, there will be a general prize drawing for all students who've qualified for the AAA Club, done after this year's first nine weeks of school are completed.
Thanks to Workingman's Store, the club has two coupons for free tux rentals.
Stoked Coffee donated coupons for one free regular size drink.
"I felt it was important to support the youth in our community," said Donna McKnight, Stoked Coffee's store manager.
McKnight's son attends Marietta High School and she is a school alumni.
"I have a close connection with the high school itself," she said.
Students must meet club qualifications every nine weeks of the school year.
"If you're on the list at the beginning of the year and do something stupid, then you're not on the list for the second (nine weeks) and you lose those privileges," Lee said.
Lee said he tells students "Life's tough. It's tougher when you're stupid."