So far this school year, students at Chavez High School in Houston, TX have mastered nearly 200,000 words using They're learning them on their computers, their phones, their tablets, at home, on the bus, during lunch and free periods, and during vocabulary binge-sessions in the cafeteria.

Students at Chavez High School celebrate three monthly leaderboard wins.

Their hard work and persistence has taken the Chavez Lobos to the top spot in the yearlong Vocabulary Bowl, and local media is paying attention. In coverage of a ceremony conferring Chavez's latest monthly leaderboard victory banner, attended, interviewing high-scoring senior Tam Tran about her favorite word, epiphany, as part of a report on the school's remarkable success. 

Meanwhile, teachers and administrators at Chavez are continuing to push the word-learning envelope. Social studies, chemistry, and even PE teachers have begun using to enhance their curricula, and Chavez Principal Rene Sanchez is planning to use as a tool for teaching Civil Rights on the upcoming Chavez Day, where students will gather en masse to learn words from civil rights vocabulary lists

Has the fact that two other strong contenders for ultimate Bowl domination — Bellaire High and Mickey Leland Prep — are local Houston-area rivals play a part in Chavez's success? It's hard to say, Chavez teachers report. In the midst of competition among students and teachers, there seems to be motivation to spare. But it probably doesn't hurt. 

Which is a good thing. As the links between vocabulary mastery, a feeling of success, and educational mastery become increasingly clear, the message of hope tied up in Chavez's publicly celebrated word learning success is crucial. We join with Principal Sanchez in feeling extremely proud of the Lobos for giving their community something to talk about...and the words to use when they do!

Chavez student Tam Tran talks to Houston Public Media about word learning success.