Redding, California:Grant Students Get Reward of Outdoor Movie

. At outdoor movie nights over the weekend, the real stars were the high-achieving students at Grant Elementary School in west Redding. However, for the girls at Saturday night's showing of "Twilight," their star of choice was teen heartthrob Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob Black in the romance-vampire film based on an equally popular book series. Grant Superintendent John Krinkel, who knows Lautner personally and hoped to have him make a campus appearance, last year promised a free movie night for the preschool through eighth-grade students if they hit at least 900 in the Academic Performance Index (API) tests. Teachers encouraged their students to do their best and "look at each question and make an intelligible answer," Krinkel said. The students responded with an API score of 901, up from 892 in 2008, making Grant the first school in Shasta County to break the 900 mark. "They deserve it," said Jill McKinley, the mother of three Grant students, about the weekend movies. She and other helpers were dishing out free refreshments including popcorn, sodas and candy at the Saturday night showing for the older students. Ninth-graders who were part of last year's graduating class also were invited to the private showing. The G-rated Dr. Seuss film "Horton Hears a Who" was on the program for the kindergarten through fourth-grade students. More than 100 students and family members brought lawn chairs or blankets to watch "Twilight" on the grass in front of a large, inflatable screen supplied by James Mazzotta of Enjoy magazine. The portable, 45-by-35-foot wall and sound system was used in charity showings for the Enjoy Movies in the Park series around Redding last summer. Lautner, who also starred as Sharkboy in "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D," was a fan favorite among the predominately female audience on the school's lawn. "He's a good actor," said 12-year old Amanda McKinley. "And she thinks he's hot," she said, pointing to one of her friends. Amanda, daughter of Jill McKinley, also loves the movie and "Twilight" books. "I've watched the movie like 50,000 times and read the books many times," she said. Superintendent Krinkel had hoped to make the occasion extra special for students, but wasn't able to contact Lautner to pass along an invitation. Krinkel was principal of Rio Norte Junior High School in Valencia when he knew Lautner as a thin, slightly built adolescent. "He wasn't built like a Greek god when I knew him," Krinkel said. One thing that impressed Krinkel was Lautner's willingness to visit with special-needs students who attended the school. "He was a well-rounded kid ... good looking, not snobby," Krinkel said. Mike Chapman source-

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