Monday, November 7, 2016

BGS Students Rewarded for "Caught You Being Good"

In an earlier article written after an interview with Bayard’s Grade School Principal Matt McLaughlin, I wrote about student participation in “Caught You Being Good.” 

The name describes the venture. When a grade school student is “caught” by a teacher, or administrator, doing something good, like holding a door open for others, or picking up books someone dropped, etc., they receive a “Caught You Being Good” ticket.

On the ticket the “catcher” writes the students name, what they did, the date, and puts it on the “Honor Wall”. In two week intervals, the student with the most tickets wins a prize. They’re fun prizes: One had the winning student picking the teacher of his/her choice and introducing their choice to a whipped crème pie in the face.

“Caught You Being Good” caught fire quickly, and a teacher recently awarded the 1000th ticket. That action warranted a celebration that would involve a couple hours of afternoon playground fun. Starting at 2 pm on a recent Friday, two groups, grades K - 3 and 4 – 6, had their moments of fun. 

The 4 - 6 graders were the first to swoop onto the playground.

Waiting for them were the grade school teachers, administration, and any parent, or grandparent, who came to join the fun.

After the students endured the usual preliminary speeches, the festivities began.

The distance around the enclosed playground is a quarter-mile. While the students congregated at the preset starting point, teachers, armed with containers of colored chalk, went to their stations around the perimeter.

With everyone in place, the students started trotting around the playground. When they passed one of the teachers’ stations, teachers showered the students with multi-rainbow-colored powdered chalk. Loving it, the students could make up to four trips past the teacher’s stations.

That meant that when they finished their tour, they were covered head-to-foot with various colors of chalk dust.

Looking like human rainbows, they hovered around their parents, grandparents, or whoever else they could find, and gave them big ol’ chalky hugs. The playground glowed with bobbing masses of iridescent human caricatures enjoying themselves, no matter the age.

When the 4 – 6 grade spectacular somewhat quieted, the K – 3 children charged onto the playground for their turn. Sans the speeches, the kids enjoyed the same experience as their predecessors, including having every bit as much fun.

As the grand finale, Principal Matt Mclaughlin ran a circle around students and teachers and joined the ranks of mobile chalk statues, however, I didn’t see him hug anyone.

With chalk-coated success, “Caught you Being Good” had its first adventure of group rewards. Kudos for “Tiger ingenuity” from teachers, administration, and for student’s endorsing that ingenuity.  


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