WVES Holds Big Drawing for PBIS Program
By Kelly Cole
Students at the Wyalusing Valley Elementary School (WVES) thought that the evacuation drill on Friday, Oct. 28, was just that, a drill. Unbeknownst to them, the leaders of the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) program had chosen that time to do their first big prize drawing and unveil the new ram mascot costume.
PBIS is the prevention program that teachers at WVES implemented this school year. They thought it would be a great time to bring this into action as the four elementary schools would become one in the new school. PBIS uses behavior techniques to provide safe, supportive learning environ-ments, promote positive life skills and reduce negative behavior. It is a means to help students maintain appropriate behavior while in school and also learn to incorporate this in everything they do outside of school.
The students wear a card throughout the school day where any staff member in the WVES can make a positive mark regarding the child’s behavior and choices. Once the card is filled, the student drops it into a box in their classroom and they receive a new one. There is no limit to how many cards a student can fill up. Each week, the classroom holds a drawing of the cards and a student is chosen to win a prize.
The leaders of the PBIS program had arranged for a bigger draw to occur four times during the school year. This would reward the students with bigger prizes to choose from. All the prizes that are used for the program have been donated by local businesses.
Students were instructed on Friday to follow their teachers to the Peterson Stadium bleachers for the evacuation drill. They did not know that the drawing was occurring at the same time or that the new ram mascot for the program would be unveiled. Once principal Joe Darrow and learning support teacher, Sue Kilmer stepped in front of the bleachers and announced what was happening the students broke out with excited cheers.
Another surprise for the students was the Wyalusing Valley High School marching band, led by Rachel Murphy, came out onto the football field to play the PBIS program’s theme song, Rocking Rams. Students welcomed the band with enthusiasm and joined in with the song.
Before too long Darrow got the students excited as he began to draw the first name out of a box overflowing with cards. With the prizes lined up on the track, students had fingers crossed that their name would be pulled.
Big winners for this drawing were; Trinity Watkins, kindergarten; Taylor Robinson, fourth grade; Gavin Zech, third grade; Alec Tuttle, kindergarten; Diana Nichols, fourth grade; Connor Hagadorn, first grade; and Heather Hadsall, fifth grade. Each student approached the prize tables with wide eyes and glee. An iPod was chosen, a remote control car was grabbed up and a basketful of craft supplies was snatched by another. Each student thrilled with their choice.
Another point to draw attention to is that WVES was chosen to receive a $15,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education for establishing the PBIS program. Leaders of the program had to complete a lengthy application as well as confirm the commitment and dedication that the staff at WVES had for implementing the program. This grant will be used to help with program costs such as travel to conferences, signage, printing material, prizes, etc. The grant is an affirmation that WVES is headed in the right direction and making a difference among the students with PBIS.