Time off for good behavior

SUN PHOTO BY TOM CHANG Charlotte County Sheriff’s Deputy David Sonne hands out pancake breakfasts to students at a Positive Behavior Intervention Support morning assembly Friday at L.A. Ainger Middle School in Englewood.

ROTONDA —Students who gathered in the cafeteria at L.A. Ainger Middle School were in for a treat Friday morning, as school staff provided a pancake breakfast at a Positive Behavior Intervention Support assembly.

“(PBIS) is not only a statewide, but nationwide, initiative looking to take a look at, not only teaching appropriate and positive (behaviors), but we’re recognizing students who exhibit them,” said Matt Whelden, assistant principal at Ainger.

Whelden said teachers reward students who follow TRACKS, which is trust, respect, accountability, character, kindness and success.

“Throughout the campus, teachers are given ‘stickets,’” said Michelle Smith, a special education teacher at Ainger who’s involved with PBIS. “Once they see a child do good behavior, they earn a sticket. It’s a sticker. The teachers leave them on the students’ sheets they’re given, so they’re accountable to hold on to them and keep track of them.”

The assembly costs students three stickets. In addition to the pancake breakfast, the 50 or so students in attendance participated in a raffle for gift cards. Students were excused from class to attend.

Whelden and Smith were familiar with PBIS from their days working at Port Charlotte High School.

“Throughout the district, Charlotte County schools has worked with PBIS,” Whelden said.

Smith said principal Marcia Louden adopted the program this year.

“About 15 people worked on this together, in the combination of staff and Parent Teacher Organization volunteers,” she said. “We’ve had various donations contributed from Spinnaker Cafe, Publix, McDonald’s and the PTO.”

Smith said organizers may expand the program into a shop called the Cougar Den, where students may redeem stickets for items like school supplies.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Deputy David Sonne, school resource officer, helped to distribute pancake breakfasts to students, donning an apron and pushing the garbage cart out to students.

“Kids that come from this will share how much of a good time they had, and it may inspire other kids to do the same thing with doing good deeds, so they can also come in and do this and reward them,” Sonne said.

SUN PHOTO BY TOM CHANG Approximately 50 students attended the Positive Behavior Intervention Support morning assembly at L.A. Ainger Middle School to get their complimentary pancake breakfasts. School staff and Parent Teacher Organization volunteers were on hand to reward the students with breakfast and raffles.

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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