Students at Robert B. Pollock School will get to earn points, play Xbox, shoot hoops and learn about the economy, all at the same time.
On Oct. 31, the school celebrated the ribbon-cutting for its brand new Paw-Mart, a reward-based school store and game room nestled in the school’s former library.
The school will introduce a new point system that awards students based on performance and behavior, such as completing homework on time, attendance and being a leader in class and the hallways. It’s an extension of the school’s Leader in Me program based on the idea everyone can be a leader.
The room is packed with fun activities like basketball nets, television and video game systems, board games and more. Points can also be exchanged in return for school merchandise like water bottles and T-shirts. Prizes will revolve on a monthly basis.
“When [the staff] sees the students doing something good we can give them points,” said Dontae Wilson, principal of the K-6 school. “At the end of each month, we tally up the points in our system and kids can come and use their points, or they can choose to save them.”
Each classroom gets one day a month to spend in the Paw-Mart.
The idea came about last April when they were trying to figure out how to better use the library, which was used infrequently due to not having a librarian.
“We put money aside from the book fair, we got donations from some of our community partners, and then we also spent some of our personal money,” Wilson said.
The mart will also give students firsthand experience with economy. Wilson said the number of points teachers are giving out will be examined, and prices will be determined from that.
“If teachers start giving a lot of points, prices will need to go up a little at that point, so that’s when we’ll talk about inflation or recession if the value is no longer there,” Wilson said. Prices will also be raised if there is a high demand for something in low supply, Wilson said.
Nate, in third grade, already knows exactly how he’s going to spend his points.
“Probably the Xbox,” he said.
He also has a game plan for how to accrue points.
“I have to be respectful, do my work, and when my neighbor is talking to me I’ll just tell them to be quiet and when I finish my work I’ll turn it in and sit in stock position until everyone’s done their work,” he said.
The room is not yet complete, with foosball tables, table hockey and other items on the way.
“We’ll be hoping that you recognize as students and also adults that good behavior pays off in many ways,” Wilson said.
After the ribbon-cutting, students and faculty were treated to Subway sandwiches and snacks, and students got to partake in some of the games. ••