OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - An Oakland 5th grader is being hailed as a role model as school officials on Tuesday celebrated what they called an "amazing accomplishment."
Carlan Samuels was honored at his school, Allendale Elementary in East Oakland, for achieving perfect attendance-- and that streak was not just for this school year, but for every year that he's been enrolled. Including kindergarten, that's six years, 1,080 days.
Officials noted that for many, it is difficult to finish the year without missing a single day, but to not have a single absence during the 180 day school year, for six years, is a feat that Oakland Unified School District's superintendent described as "nothing short of a miracle."
"We're celebrating attendance because coming to school shows that you take your education seriously," Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell said during an OUSD event at Allendale.
"Coming to school shows that you know what it means to be responsible... It means you know you need to take care of yourself because you know how important your learning is," Johnson-Trammell added.
And she extended the congratulations to Carlan's mother.
"We know that a child's success is also a parent's success. Huge kudos to you," the school official said.
The ceremony to honor the young boy included the presentation of a special certificate and a big surprise in from the non-profit "Oakland Natives Give Back," which works to encourage students to show up to school as part of its "Every Day Counts Attendance Challenge."
"If we gave him $1 for every day that he's been to school, that would be $1,000," Oakland Natives Give Back Board President Kimberly Mayfield said. "But to sustain it for six years, we would need to give him a little interest," she added.
With that, the group presented Carlan with a $1,500 check.
School officials said the child's accomplishment was one that deserved accolades, illustrating serious discipline and commitment.
They called Carlan a role model, not only for students at his school but kids across the city and everywhere. And they said his perfect attendace spanning across his entire grade school career serves as an indication of the boy's drive to do well.
"It's one of the early habits that shows us that you are going to be a successful, incredible adult," Johnson-Trammell said.