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Colorful wall of padlocks at Plant City middle school motivates students to get really good grades

Straight A’s for 3 years gets you coveted gold lock
Posted: 6:34 PM, Oct 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-11 18:34:52-04
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PLANT CITY, Fla. — A colorful wall of padlocks at Tomlin Middle School in Plant City is motivating students to get straight A’s.

Before a big test, Jaida Davis likes to pay a visit to the Wall of Locks.

After all, more A’s mean more locks and earning locks is everything at Tomlin Middle.

“My friends and I like to come here, just to remind ourselves,” the 8th grader said, gazing at her two engraved locks.

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Every Tampa Bay area school strives to find ways to motivate students.

But Tomlin Middle’s colorful Wall of Locks is helping a lot of students get straight A’s.

“There’s a lot of pride in this wall,” says Principal Traci Durrance, who helped create the program.

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If a Tomlin Middle student gets straight A’s in 6th grade, they get a blue lock engraved with their name and achievement.

Straight A’s in 7th grade? Black lock. 8th grade? Orange.

The coveted gold lock? That’s for students who get straight A’s for all 3 years.

The Wall of Locks isn’t just pretty — it’s effective, too. In just a few years, there are more than 400 locks on the wall.

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Seventh grader Caleb Hammock earned a blue lock last year. But he’s hungry for three more.

“The locks give me the adrenaline and energy to keep going,” Caleb says.