Will Ski for Straight A's....

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Heavenly-skier on ridge

South Lake Tahoe, CA, Feb. 1, 2001--For the third straight winter, Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort is giving out free season passes, but there's a catch. The worthy recipients are local students, grades 4 - 12, who produce straight A report cards.

The program started after general manager, John Rice, discovered his own boys studied a bit harder when he offered new BMX bikes as incentives. "I offered each of them a bike if they could maintain straight A's for the semester," said Rice. "It made me realize that teachers are limited as far as what they can provide in incentives, so we approached the school district and offered the season pass program to them."

Originally a fairly simple reward that only targeted one class, then grew to one grade level and overflowed to an entire school, Sierra's pass program now encompasses two school districts. So far this season, Sierra-at-Tahoe has given out over 380 passes to young skiers and snowboarders.

Recently, Heavenly joined the action by donating more than a hundred day tickets to the South Lake Tahoe schools. The ski resort, which straddles both Nevada and California, hopes to reward students for more than just good grades.

Dennis Harmon, Heavenly's president, says, "We feel support from our business community is important to our local schools. Heavenly's program is designed to encourage the children to improve not only academically, but also in their citizenship and leadership skills."