Waxahachie high school students have a $25,000 reason to achieve perfect attendance.

Waxahachie Autoplex has partnered with the Waxahachie Independent School District for a fifth consecutive year to launch the #StrivetoDrive campaign. Up for grabs is a brand new 2019 Ford Focus valued at over $25,000 – and all it takes for a chance to win it is to attend school every day.

“Students have the opportunity to earn one entry to win a car for every month they have perfect attendance,” District Public Relations Director Jenny Bridges explained. “They can earn an additional entry for perfect attendance for an entire semester.”

A student may earn up to 10 tickets for the school year.

“At the end of the year we hold a big event where we get our Waxahachie High School, Waxahachie Global High School and High School of Choice students together,” Bridges continued. “We then draw 10 names from all of the entries. Those 10 students pick a key and use it to try to start the car – but only one key starts the car. It’s a very exciting and fun event.”

Since the popular campaign's inception in 2014, Waxahachie Autoplex has brought it to other school districts. The company said it has given away 39 cars to date.

“This initiative benefits everybody,” Waxahachie Autoplex Marketing Manager Belinda Kelley said. “The kids are staying in school with a goal in mind, which is great, and schools get state funding based on their attendance, so if we can increase their attendance by even half a percentage point that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars to that school from the state.”

For each student absence per day, a Texas school district misses out on approximately $33 in state funding.

A 2012 study by E3 Alliance, republished in the 2015 research paper “Why Do Students Miss School? The Central Texas Absence Reasons Study,” concluded that Central Texas school districts lose millions of dollars annually because of student absences.

The study found that “Central Texas students were absent 2.4 million days per year,” and on average, “students have significantly more absences in high school than elementary or middle school, Central Texas low income students were more likely to be absent than in any other urban area of the state.”

“We are so appreciative to Autoplex for their commitment to students and for funding this program to help keep kids aware of the importance of having good attendance,” Bridges said.

The drawing takes place in May.