School Spotlight: Plymouth Middle School Gives Paws for Good Behavior
The paw print has special meaning at Plymouth Middle School. Paws are given to students who exhibit good behavior such as punctuality and kindness.
The kids then exchange the paws for gifts at the school’s holiday bash on Friday.
“I think this is very unique to us,” said Morgan Holck, a teacher at Plymouth Middle School. “That’s why we take a lot of pride in it and we’re going to try to continue this tradition for years to come so it becomes something that we are known for.”
“We are the Panthers,” said Liam Jabe, a student. “Plymouth Panthers roar. Paws.”
This is the fourth annual paw event and its become very popular.
“It’s going be a lot of fun because everybody’s going to get dressed up,” Jabe said. “We’re going to have some music playing in the background.”
In many ways this is “paws for a cause” as some kids get into the spirit of gift giving.
“Maybe you don’t have money,” Holck said. “Maybe you don’t earn any money from doing chores or things like that. This is a good way for you to still be able to give gifts for birthdays or holidays, or whatever it is you celebrate and give to others.”
“Really anybody can buy anything for anybody,” said Boden Sundell, another student. “But some people get it for gifts for the holidays, or just to treat themselves with the paws they have earned.”
Paws can motivate
For some students the paws can motivate them to stay on the right track.
“If we’re seeing that a lot of kids are coming late to class then we might throw the paws out there as an incentive to get them back on track,” Holck said. “Then we kind of want to pull it back a little bit. If we do it too much it kind of loses its purpose.”
Of course, these gifts don’t magically appear. Donations make this possible.
“Teachers donate a lot of it,” said student Madison Fondow. “I think like 15 percent of the gifts are donated by teachers. Then we got a donation from the PTA.”
That donation turned out to be $1,000 – which is one reason why there will be 15 tables of gifts sprawled out in the school gym.
“We’re going to try to continue this tradition for years to come,” Holck said, “so that it becomes something that we’re known for here.”
The gifts range from clothing to food to toys.
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