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Students Earn “Caughtcha” Rewards for Making a Difference at School

West Elementary School students held up signs with words like “Listen,” “Patience,” “Trustful,” “Kind,” “Nice” and “Polite” for a video titled “Respect in One Word” about characteristics they felt were most important for a safe school climate. 

The video, created by teacher Amy Stratton’s third-grade class, aired at the October Rewards’ Day assembly. It ties in with the school’s new Caughtcha Being Good project, for which students receive tickets for good behavior which can turn into prizes and lunch from Principal Eric Schilthuis. 

Caughtcha tickets are passed out by teachers when they notice good behavior.  Every time a student earns five, they get put into a drawing for prizes, and winners are announced at the monthly assemblies.

“I feel excited to get five,” said third-grade student Emily Fouchey, who said students are trying hard to stay in their seats and be quieter. 

Several videos will be created this year by students to show how positive behavior affects the school. “This was a great way to show the other students how their peers were directly involved with the program,” said Katy Andreini, English Language teacher. 

Positive Behavior Support

Schilthuis and teachers on the Assembly Committee at the second- and third-grade building decided to start the project after brainstorming ideas to improve student behavior while focusing on the positive. It aligns with Positive Behavior Support, a state education initiative. 

Students throughout the year will create videos with staff to demonstrate positive behaviors. Teachers arevideotaping areas where students are making good choices like cleaning up in the cafeteria, picking up trash and walking quietly through the hallways.  Brandon Allen shows off his “Caughtcha” prize

The program has been effective and students cherish the tickets, teachers said. “It is exciting to see kids get personally involved in their school community.  When the students see others taking pride in exhibiting good behavior, they want to do it, too,” Stratton said. 

Stratton recently had an exceptionally good day with students and offered them all the choice of candy or Caughtcha tickets. Many opted for the tickets. “I thought that was really cool,” Stratton said. 

Schilthuis said he’s already seen improvement. “For this year, we’ve had a significant decrease in the number of behavioral referrals to the office,” he said.  


See a video made by West Elementary students

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.


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