By Tim Jimenez

A South Philadelphia high school has won the red carpet treatment and an advanced screening of one of the hottest movies of the year.

The Academy at Palumbo High School was among the schools in 17 states that competed in the Fall Attendance Challenge sponsored by the Get Schooled Foundation to have the highest attendance rate for the first half of the school year.

Today, nearly 650 students from Palumbo filled the United Artists theatre on South Delaware Avenue.  They were all dressed up, posed for pictures, and got to see the new Mission: Impossible movie before its official opening in theatres.

School administrator Kiana Thompson says their 97-percent attendance rate won them the East Region of the challenge.

“They kept coming to school, raised our attendance about three percent from last year,” she says.  “So they did an amazing job.”

And the students were thrilled to see the movie before most of their friends.  But that wasn’t all.

“Feels good to get the school spirit up,” said Dimitrius Davenport, a 12th grader.

“We really earned it,” added 11th grader Amber Lewis.  “We all wanted to come. We were all really excited about going.”

“We’re supposed to come to school, but it’s good to get rewarded every now and then for it,” said Salvatore Pizzo, an 11th grader.

Their principal and teachers looked on with pride, saying they believe their students will keep coming to class at such a high rate even though the challenge is over.

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