Williams/Ledger students learn money management through reward system
Fri, 2016-09-23 05:00 News Staff
By DAVID DEES AND EDITH NATIVIDAD
Special to Leader-Press
Glittery pencils, toys, games, calculators and even bicycles are just some of the prizes students can earn at Williams/Ledger Elementary’s OWLS Nest. Outstanding Williams/Ledger Students, known as OWLS, have the entire school giving a hoot about good behavior and rewarding it.
Positive Behavior Intervention and Support is the behavior system that Williams/Ledger instituted in 2013. At the core of the program is the token reward system that uses Hoot Loot, campus currency that the students earn by meeting school expectations. With their Hoot Loot, they can purchase items from The Owl’s Nest, the school’s Hoot Loot store, or they can save it for special events.
“The OWLS Nest is a great incentive for students to spend their Hoot Loot that they have earned for positive behavior,” second grade teacher Amy Hunt said. “The students really look forward to this.”
The events vary from a weekly teacher’s choice where the grade level comes together to offer extra recess, computer time or maybe even having lunch with a teacher. In addition, the school offers special events such as dances, cookie decorating during Christmas time, and end of year carnival, The Owl-APlooza.
Second grader Silas Wilson knew exactly what he would spend his Hoot Loot on before he entered the store.
“I needed a watch and I want to continue to be able to tell time,” the 7-year old said. “I don’t need (someone else) to buy me one because I work hard and follow directions all the time. So, I have lots of Hoot Loot money.”
While the school does have set events each year, it also allows the students to come up with events toward which they would like to work such as a grade-level board game day. With student input with the planning, they gain ownership and the reward program thrives.
Students also appreciate the independence with many expressing excitement over being able to purchase the items with money they had earned rather than their parents or a guardian. Sarah Sierra, a 7-year veteran teacher, said she the school currency is a great way to reward good behavior.
“My students work very hard to earn Hoot loot and get excited when they get to spend it at the OWLS Nest,” she said.
What students do not realize that is that they are also gaining financial literacy, second grade teacher Melanie Craig said.
“The OWL’s Nest hoot loot store is wonderful incentive for the students to encourage them through positive behavior and also teach how to count their own money and teach how to value items.”