Twenty kids shared breakfast Friday with principal Beth Schwartz at Harris Elementary School.
The meal was a reward for showing outstanding Comets pride since the start of school.
One child from each third- and fourth-grade homeroom was honored for going above and beyond in expressing positivity.
Teaching kids to take pride in their work and behavior is a key goal at Harris this fall. Those “caught” being good are rewarded with stickers that are regarded as badges of honor.
“They get so excited and all the grown-ups make a point to ask how they got them,” said Schwartz.
She asks incoming third-graders to learn some big words as they earn accolades: diligence, positivity, respect, initiative, etiquette — all character traits important to education.
“Academically, I think it’s important we’re seeing our kids learn to be diligent,” Schwartz said.
The effort is part of a larger program called Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports, which Powers Elementary principal Debbie Waller has also launched at her school.
PBIS was created by a group of teachers working with the state support team. Amherst teachers continue to work with state education officials to improve their skills and classroom strategies.
“We’re hoping that our positive energy catches on at other schools,” said Schwartz.
Also launching Sept. 11 is a pledge drive for the annual Harris walk-a-thon, which benefits the PTO. This year, the parent group will use money to purchase more iPads for classroom use.
But a portion of the project is also aimed at community service. Harris students will solicit donations of gently-used shoes for the Soles4Souls program.
It provides footwear to needy communities all over the world, including some in the United States.
The walk-a-thon will be held Oct. 2 as children march from Harris to the Beaver Creek Reservation Metro Park on North Lake Street and back to the school.
In the meantime, the general public is invited to get involved by also donating shoes at the Harris office on South Lake Street.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Harris Elementary principal Beth Schwartz shows off the shirt each of her third- and fourth-graders were given to wear Friday.
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