Chicago Public Schools kid wins car

June 24, 2008 9:51:55 AM PDT
It's not easy to have perfect attendance at school. Sooner or later it seems everyone misses a day or two. But some kids are in class every morning.

On Monday, a group of Chicago Public School students learned that crawling out of the sack every day can mean much more than just a gold star on the report card.

South Chicago Dodge near 73rd and Western had some very young car shoppers on Monday. Chicago Public School students gathered to see who would win a brand new 2008 Dodge Caliber. The only kids eligible were those with perfect attendance. Each kid would pull a key from a basket but just one key starts the car.

When asked what she will do with the car is she wins, eligible student Isamara Alamilla did not hesitate.

"Give it to my father for Fathers' Day," said Alamilla.

The car was donated by Clear Channel Radio and South Chicago Dodge. All students had to do was pick the lucky key.

There are just over 400,000 Chicago Public Schools students including grade school and high school. Then, through perfect attendance and a lottery, 150 kids were eligible for the car. Nineteen showed up, but only one would win.

And the key to car happiness belongs to Ashley Martinez' family of the Southwest Side. With soaring gas prices, Martinez' father is the one guy who's happy to burn some fuel.

"Perfect attendance means having a good education and you'll have a better future," said Martinez.

"I'm real proud of her because she gets?she does good work at school and she tries to be the best," said Luis Martinez, Ashley's father.

Twelve-year-old Ashley Martinez will have to wait four years to drive the car. For the next four years, dad Luis and mom Carolina will be at the wheel.

When asked how tough it was to get up every morning, Ashley didn't complain.

"A little bit tough but I always knew there would be something exciting in the day. Our teacher made our class very fun," said Ashley.

The family drove away in $17,500 worth perfect attendance.


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