Students cheering each other on at Lowell Elementary


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Students at Lowell Elementary in Sioux Falls are cheering each other on as kids get ready for “MAP” testing this week. A planned pep rally for students in Kindergarten through second grade is boosting self-esteem and it’s making a difference. 

It’s an uplifting week at Lowell Elementary. 

“It made me feel appreciated,” Second-grader Chance Donahue said. 

Donahue says he’s not worried at all about testing but this rally, hosted by the third through fifth graders, is making his day. 

“They were cheering for me and my class and that made me feel really good,” Donahue said. 

A’Nahji Butler is a bit anxious about doing well on the exam that tests math, reading and language skills. 

“It made me feel happy and some of them were cheering me on so it didn’t make me feel nervous for the test,” Butler said.

This is the third test of the year for some of these younger students. It’s all to monitor their progress in the classroom throughout the year.

“I don’t know if our kids have been a part of a rally like this before. So I think it’s a unique experience that they get here,” Teacher Jessica Ries said. 

Ries says on top of learning different subjects, this event also shows students how to treat each other. 

“You can do this. Don’t give up. You got this. Just to encourage them. I think it starts to develop a school culture of perseverance and cohesiveness. Like we’re all in this together instead of just you’re by yourself on this island and you better do well on the test. It’s just more of a positive spin on testing I suppose,” Ries said. 

A spin that has these kids pumped to do their best on their tests. 

Last week, the kindergarten, first and second grade students cheered on the third through fifth graders before they took their smarter balanced tests. 

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