There’s a new program at Hawthorne Elementary School, which Brock Barton, age eight, found to be very worthwhile as he finally cashed in his 50 points, which he had been saving for over a month.
It was the brain child of Principal Stephanie Keuhey, and they are called Rocket Cards, which convert into Rocket Bucks once they are brought into the converted “store” room. The items were purchased through the current e-script program, which may be filtering out soon, but for now the shelves were packed full of interesting fun.
Chris Mayes explained that the program was created as a way of showing the students that good behavior and extra credit behaviors can become a reward, which can give them a shopping experience. Once they’ve earned a minimum of five cards, they are worth credits.
In this school shopping center, there are items to purchase which range from five to 50 points. The students learn the concept of money and math, as they are calculating and spending, or deciding to save up for larger items. The basic knowledge of economics is taking place, while the students enjoy their independent choices to purchase a low priced pencil or a Rocket T-shirt at 30 points.
The room is laid out with sections that are filled with baskets of puzzles or books at 15 points each and unique toys for only five points and everything in-between. The variety allows all the grades to participate since they can locate something of interest at every level.
The program is becoming a Friday hit that began in October. While Carol Munger and Thankie Nunnally assisted some children who came in with their Ziploc bags stuffed with 30 or more green Rocket cards, other volunteers and upper grade students assisted kids that may have only held five points in their hands. Every child that lined up to enter the shopping center anxiously awaited their turn with smiles on their faces.
Mayes can always use volunteers to assist these student spenders and savers. As indecisive as some children can be, it was easy to see that some students had their eyes on certain items. As they checked on the higher points and recounted their Rocket bucks, some would walk out empty handed as they realized that bigger items may be worth the wait.
That’s what third grade Barton did. “I wanted the blue Rocket sweat shirt so I just kept saving all my cards until I had enough to buy it today. It wasn’t easy, but I knew what I wanted.” Within minutes of his purchase, he came back in wearing his Rocket sweatshirt. He modeled the new purchase, showing Mayes and her volunteer helpers his Rocket pride.
If you would like to donate your time or money to this program, please contact the local elementary school. Other programs on-going at the schools are the collection of Box Tops for Education, which are found on hundreds of participating grocery products and the Labels for Education program which is saving various Campbell’s products that can be turned in for credit. Both programs benefit the students and children and are appreciated by the staff. If you happen to save them, please donate your labels or box tops to any elementary child. Students can turn them in for their own class credit.