Students Cashing in on Programs that Reward Good Behavior

Oct 2, 2014 | Hope in the News

Students at the Hope Institute Learning Academy (HILA) in Chicago are cashing in on a program that rewards their good behavior.The young learners receive “Hawk Bucks” when staff members spot them engaging in good conduct, which includes listening, maintaining good manners and following directions. The bucks can later be redeemed at the school store for school supplies, games or toys. Students who save up $500 “Hawk Bucks” can receive larger rewards, such as a Nerf basketball hoop, doll stroller or a remote control monster truck.

“The program serves as a fun, engaging way to teach our students appropriate school behaviors and to show them that good conduct leads to positive results,” said Principal Mike Jakubowski.

The program is part of HILA’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) system, which reinforces positive student behaviors and creates strategies to manage student conduct in any school setting. Founded in 2011, HILA leaders said the “Hawk Bucks” program has led to substantial improvements in students’ behavior.

Another incentive program at the school rewards students who show preparation, responsibility, independence, dedication and effort (PRIDE). Staff members can issue PRIDE points and students who receive 20 points can attend the PRIDE Party, which is typically held in the school’s cafeteria or auditorium every five weeks.

Students who do not earn enough points attend an alternative workshop—led by a HILA teacher—to teach character and how to show HILA PRIDE. After each incentive, students start a new PRIDE Pass and have several opportunities to earn points for the next incentive.

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