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Program rewards good behavior

PEYTON NEELY The Marietta Times Waterford Elementary School Principal Jana Thomas presents a certificate of inspiration to first grader Garrett Long at the PAWS kick-off assembly Friday afternoon.

WATERFORD–Students who excel academically and athletically are often recognized for good work, but what about the students who have good character and are well-behaved on a regular basis?

PAWS is a new program being introduced in a lot of schools in the area to reward good behavior rather than focusing on the not-so-good.

Waterford Elementary School held an assembly Friday afternoon to introduce this new program to the school. The assembly started with giving certificates of inspiration to students that teachers noted  for their good character.

“The PAWS program will recognize students who are nice and just very good people,” said Jana Thomas, principal of Waterford Elementary.

PAWS is an acronym for positive attitude, act responsibly, willing to help others and strive for success. Teachers as well as students said they are excited to enhance the learning experience by promoting good behavior.

Students will receive a PAWS card on which they can earn stamps with acts of kindness and positive behavior. Every Friday, the principal will call students to the office by grade level to turn in full PAWS cards. Those cards will be entered into the drawing by grade level and names will be drawn at the end of each grading period. Prizes include McDonald’s coupons, Walmart gift cards, iTunes cards, Kindles and more.

“I really want to win the Kindle,” said Cole Hansell, a fourth-grader at Waterford Elementary.

In addition to the cards, every day the school goes without an office referral, they earn a peace day. Thomas stressed the importance of peace days to the school, informing them that if they have 25 peace days before Dec. 15, there will be a movie day the following Monday for all the students in the afternoon.

“I am really excited to earn a movie day,” said Ryleigh Rutter, another fourth grader.

Teachers said they were on board for this new program with high hopes for improvement in the school.

Beth Smith, an art teacher at both the elementary school and high school, said she thinks the PAWS program is a wonderful opportunity to emphasize the positive behavior in the school.

“The kids are excited, we as teachers are excited, and I think this will be the start of something really great,” she said.

“We just really want to push the use of kindness and kind words onto the students,” said Thomas.

The PAWS program is set to kick off on Monday. This program is part of Waterford Elementary School’s positive behavior intervention and support.

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