Golden Apple: The Power Of Teaching Students How To Be A Good Citizen
I’m sure we all know the famous Barney clean up song: “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere, clean up, clean everybody, do your share.” And while this song encourages kids to clean up, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Elementary puts these lyrics to the test.
“We’ve been doing it for about 2 ½, three years now, and it’s pretty cool because the kids really get into it. They want to pick up their rooms and keep them clean and for them it’s an incentive and for us it helps us keep our areas a little bit cleaner because we have more time,” said Daytime Custodian Sue Piggott.
At the end of the school day, all of the custodians in the school keep track of which classroom is the cleanest, and by the end of the month, an announcement is made for the winner of the Golden Garbage Can Award.
“It’s really exciting, I’m always very proud of my kids, they do such a good job and it’s really nice to be validated for that and they’ve started a couple years ago and my class was able to win every year and I just get very proud of them. They’re very good and very good at following routines and cleaning up at the end of the day,” said 3rd Grade Teacher Kristen Bockovich. “It’s really exciting, and it’s a fun exciting because we get to take a picture of ourselves and it’s a really pretty garbage can because of its golden color.”
The Wolf Pack Pride rug is another award that allows students to display the school’s motto, which is to be ready, respectful, and responsible.
“To start off, when we get the announcements saying that we won and all the kids cheered and they all looked at me like, ‘oh my gosh, this is crazy,” and it’s actually really funny when we started off, when we had it in front of our door, they’d be picking off little pieces of garbage off it to make sure it’s clean and its kind of an incentive for when I’m here, ‘oh, you guys are showing the Wolf Pack Pride, this is why you got it,'” said 2nd Grade Teacher Hope Johnson.
“We’re really working on the character education by showing the ready, respectful, and responsible behaviors and trying to get them to be respectful and productive citizens in our communities,” said Kindergarten Teacher Janelle Johnson.
The school is decorated with positive affirmations and constant reminders to be kind and show respect, a useful tool that can be applied both now and in their future.