‘Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate.’
We couldn’t find who is responsible for this quote but we like it! We all want to encourage a positive culture in our schools and clubs – from parent level right down to the influence we have on our kids. Having your committee sponsor a school or club reward program is a way to show that your committee supports and promotes a positive culture.
We, as parents and volunteers are the first to set the example for our kids of positive behaviour and culture. We set the tone not only for our own children but for the whole community. So, I got to thinking about ways that parent committees can work with their school or club to encourage these positive behaviours.
Rewarding Positive Behaviour
Rewards or incentives work a treat with kids. They are great for engaging kids and reinforcing the positive behaviours we are wanting to promote. Keep in mind that rewards don’t necessarily need to be a tangible item and could be a privilege instead.
Here are a few ideas:
- Student/player of the week award – this sort of award is already commonplace in many school and clubs where the teacher or coach chooses a child from their class or team who is awarded a certificate at assembly or on match day.
- ‘Family night’ bag – student gets to borrow the family night bag over the weekend which contains, games, movies, popcorn, chocolate etc.
- Free entry to the school disco
- Free admission to school/class excursion or end of year outing.
- Classroom or coach assistant or helper – assist with photocopying, handing out papers, running errands around the school, allocating seating, be in charge of water bottles, head of the line.
- Free time or computer/ipad time during class.
- Voucher for 10 pin bowling or putt putt golf.
- Lunch time with favourite teacher.
- Movie or video game poster
- Movie tickets
- Mystery gift bag/showbag – filled with inexpensive toys, lollies, pens/pencils etc.
- ‘Get out of homework for a week’ pass – I could see this being particularly popular!
- Free lunch – You committee pays for lunch for a day
You’ll need to work out how often rewards are presented, weekly or monthly, and I’m sure that this list could inspire a whole heap more ideas too. The great thing is that most of the suggestions are free or won’t cost a lot of money.
This is a little game that can be run in addition to your class awards and give the kids extra incentive to do the right thing. It was an idea sent in by one of our readers, and it’s something that they do at my kids’ school. It’s called ‘I spy with my little eye’ or ‘Gotcha’.
Here’s how it works. Whenever a teacher or staff member sees a student doing the right thing – picking up rubbish, helping another student, helping a teacher, doing good work, that sort of thing, they are awarded a ‘Gotcha’. It’s essentially a coloured piece of paper that the student writes their name on and drops into the Gotcha tin in their classroom.
Each week at assembly the names of everyone who received a ‘Gotcha’ that week go into a draw. Four winners are drawn (2 from prep–2 and 2 from year 3-6) who get to choose an item from the prize box. My kids tell me (although not from their own experience 😉 ) it’s mostly stationery items, pens, pencils, notebooks, erasers, rulers or reading books.
As the year progresses, ALL the ‘Gotcha’ names are put into a big barrel and at the end of the year one lucky winner is drawn and wins an iPad mini! The better the behaviour, the more ‘Gotcha’s’ kids can get and the more chances they have to win. Again, not an expensive outlay for your committee, but a definite winner with the kids.
If you have an awards night at the end of the year, have the P & C sponsor an award for best and fairest, best allrounder, most improved behaviour, community spirit or something similar and the president can present it at the awards night.
But remember, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander and you need to make sure that your committee demonstrates this positive culture themselves. Maybe you can even have a rewards program or ‘Gotcha’s’ for your committee members too!
Regina Underwood – P&C President and freelance writer for the Fundraising Whisperer