Student rewarded with car

Michael Tortorich
East Ascension High School student Telesha Melancon gets into the Mazda Protege she won as a prize in the school’s reading program. School administrators announced the winner Tuesday morning.

Telesha Melancon received quite a surprise Tuesday morning when an announcement went out across the East Ascension High School campus.

Her name had been drawn as the winner of a car.

The prize was one of many given to students through the school’s Accelerated Reader Program.

The school also gave away a laptop computer, gift and gas cards previously in the school year as a way to motivate students to read more.

Prizes came from money collected on “dress down days.”

Students earn points based on the number of books they read. The more points they earn, the better chance they have of winning prizes.

For Melancon, reading paid off with some new wheels.

“Good things happen when you read,” East Ascension principal Randy Watts said as Melancon called her mother to give her the good news.

“Mom, guess what... I won a car!” she said.

“All we have to do now is make sure she gets her driver’s license,” the principal said.

Watts said the dealership, Price LeBlanc, was “very generous” in working out a price with the school.

School administrators and local journalists surprised Melancon with the news while she was in class. After hearing the announcement over the PA system, she beamed an ear-to-ear smile as her classmates congratulated her.

From there, she walked to the front of the campus to see her Mazda Protege. Onlookers cheered as she stepped into the car, topped with a blue and yellow Spartan bow, and turned the key for the first time.

East Ascension Principal Randy Watts, left, surprises Telesha Melancon in class by announcing she won a car.