By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Student store encourages good behavior

Starla Pointer / News-Register
Students run the store at Patton Middle School, selling small items in return for Mustang Pride tickets.
Starla Pointer / News-Register
Students run the store at Patton Middle School, selling small items in return for Mustang Pride tickets.

Older students run the store from a storage closet next to the main office.

Each Friday, they put up barricades to restrict the flow of traffic while they organize the inventory and post prices. Then they throw open the doors.

“It’s a good way to reward kids for good behavior,” said Karlee Bird, one of the student managers. “I think they’re definitely trying to have good behavior to get points.”

That’s the outcome adults are hoping for, said Jenny Hagglund, an English teacher on the Patton Positive Behavior Intervention Support Team.

Throughout the campus, Patton is putting a renewed focus on PBIS this year. Teachers are trying to grant more recognition for appropriate behavior, such as finishing homework on time or walking quietly down the hall, and to deliver that recognition more consistently, Hagglund said.

Each reward reinforces a specific positive action, but that’s not all it does.

It also spreads the word about the importance of good behavior. When students see their peers being rewarded, they tend to improve their conduct as well.

On a recent morning, Hagglund noticed a group of girls being loud in the commons before school. Two other girls were concentrating on their work, and she handed each of them a Mustang Pride ticket reading, “Thank you for being safe - respectful - responsible.”

“The other girls saw that and quieted down,” the teacher said.

Hagglund said it takes a conscious effort. “It’s so easy to see the negative,” she said, but it’s important to look for the good.

“I tell my students what I appreciate, and they respond,” she said. “It builds a level of respect. That makes teaching easier.

“And this helps them develop that idea of what is respectful in society, not the disrespectful behavior they see on TV.”

Mustang Pride ticket distribution started in the fall. By the time the student store opened in January, many sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders had handfuls of tickets.

The first few weeks were really busy, student store managers said. The store sold out of Takis, the popular chips, as well as panda erasers, coin purses and other items. 

Funds from several sources are used to stock store shelves, said Principal Marty Palacios. Money comes from student body fees, the PTA and the Jim Torgerson Fund, a memorial in honor of a former Patton principal.

Palacios said Patton also is collaborating with vending machine suppliers to split profits, and that goes toward reinforcing positive behavior as well. He hopes that collaboration makes the store sustainable.

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