Positive reinforcement

By TATIANA EASON, KYLA GREENFIELD and CHRISTINA RICHARDSON

Starting Tuesday, Goldsboro High School students will have another reason to do well in class, show respect to teachers and peers, and be good sports during athletic competitions. The “Cougar Cash” initiative, a creation of Media Center Coordinator Katie Kimble Johnson, will arm teachers, administrators, and staff with fake money that can buy students very real prizes if they are caught doing the right thing.

Normally, people only focus on the students that do what’s wrong, Mrs. Kimble Johnson said. But starting tomorrow, those responsible for handing out the “cash” will have a new outlook.

“We want to reward students who constantly do good in their classes and are doing what they are supposed to do,” she said. “We wanted to create something more positive that highlights the students that are doing the right thing.”

The cash can be used to buy everything from snacks to an extra gym period, but the big prizes — like Beats headphones and gift cards — will be won through a raffle held at the end of the semester. So while students who want to use their cash more quickly can get a fast bag of chips, those who choose to save their money can win big.

In fact, learning the value of saving money is part of the reason the program was created. The Media Center will also serve as a “bank” where students can deposit their Cougar Cash using deposit slips, Mrs. Kimble Johnson said. That process will help teach us how to use a bank account for when we graduate and move on into the real world.

To get students excited about the program, those who earn Cougar Cash this week can buy raffle tickets with their money to be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card. Not a bad deal for doing the right thing.

So put away those cellphones and take your earbuds out. Focus in class and help your friends when they need someone to lean on. You never know who’s watching. And if you’re lucky, you might just have a new pair of Beats around your neck before Christmas break or a gift card in your pocket.

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