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Good Character Earns Students Davidson Dollars

A DES third grade student had to get his mouth set just right to understand the figures on his Davidson Dollar’s balance sheet created by his teacher, Colleen Craven. “It’s a first step toward learning how to handle real money,” she said.

Youngsters pick out their prizes.

Challenge Class instructor Lecia Bain helped students pick out their purchases.

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Money was flowing freely at Davidson Elementary School Friday with the opening of the school’s new “dollar” store.
Students lined up to get into the store because it’s the only place in the world where they can spend their Davidson Dollars. And, the only way the youngsters can earn those valuable Davidson Dollars is by exhibiting good character.
The store and the coupon-like dollars are all part of the school’s positive behavior program. The way it works is when a staff member or teacher observes a student showing good character, they are given a Davidson Dollar. The dollars can be used to “purchase” prizes at the PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) store.
PBIS was set up by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education, to help schools implement programs to produce more responsible, respectful and productive students in a safer educational environment. “Be safe, be responsible, be respectful” as the DES character cheer goes.
Friday, Librarian Andrea Clement, Challenge Class instructor Lecia Bain and a couple of community volunteers were hard at work minding the store as students filed through by class. Clement said that she expected more confusion on the first day, but the students were following instructions very well.
A second grade student counted his dollars and then carefully added up the price of his items before proceeding to the check out line. Then, with an innocent grin, he thrust the whole pile toward Clement to sort out his purchase.
A little later, a third grade girl very thoughtfully counted out her dollars and then counted them again with the precision of a bank teller before making her purchases.
Third grade teacher Colleen Craven is using the dollars to teach basic banking skills to her students. Each member of her class has a sheet with their deposits, expenditures and balance. It’s a first step toward learning how to handle real money, she said.
Aside from the items in the store, students can also purchase from the Davidson Dollar Menu, a list of very special privileges. Among the menu items are such goodies as getting to sit by a friend from another class or a favorite teacher at lunch for only $25.
Another $25 privilege is getting to wear a hat to school or being able to write in pen all day. If the student can save up $50 in Davidson bucks, they can help the custodians for a whole hour or be an office aide.
For $100 the youngster can make the morning announcements or be the teacher for the day. However, if the student wants to be the principal, it’ll cost $150.
All prizes for the store are either contributed or purchased with donations from the public, according to Clement. So far, contributors have been Mechanics Bank, State Farm Insurance Agent Andi Epes and Bennett Hill, Inc. Anyone interested in making a donation can contact the school at 473-1110.

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