BROOK PARK, Ohio — For young readers, the pandemic has forced them to pause, pivot and try to preserve their education. With more consistency in the classrooms this school year, a popular component in early childhood development is helping soften some of the academic fallout from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inside Brook Park Elementary, staff has been pushing its positive behavior incentive program, which encourages students to be respectful, responsible, safe and kind.
The program provides rewards for students to "really just be great learners, and be safe, and come to school every day excited to learn,” said Tracy Schneid, Brook Park Elementary School principal.
The reward-based initiative is practiced from the starting bell to dismissal.
"Classroom, playground, cafeteria, hallways, where ever you are,” said Schneid.
Second-grader Lilah Hartman is one of the students who has reaped the benefits of the program.
"One of the second-grade teachers saw me doing the right thing,” Lilah said.
After students collect two tickets, they earn a pin created by the fourth-graders.
"They either say I am responsible, respectful, just kind of letting everyone know that they've gotten acknowledged,” Schneid said.
After students earn a gold coin, they can unlock the school’s new book vending machine.
“We're looking at sustaining home libraries for students, engaging them in reading, making reading part of a daily excitement and routine,” said teacher and coach Jenny Csiszar.
Educators at Brook Park Elementary said the program is already paying off for students who learned remotely.
"Socialization, knowing that they have to have the stamina to complete an assignment or be in the classroom," said Schneid. "They're very proud of what they're doing, what they're accomplishing and they love to be recognized and they deserve it."
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