The Joy Now
Today I watched the fourth graders visit the Pride Store for the first time. I saw the wonder in their eyes as they walked in the small room, decorated just for them, and I caught their first glimpses of joy as they explored the treasures they could “buy” with their Pride Passes. I watched them smile and walk from basket to basket of candy, pencils, and toys, weighing their decisions carefully.
They were all excited, but what struck me were the individual reactions. Some students chose to spend all of their Pride Passes for a few pieces of candy that would quickly be devoured. Some students looked right past all the tiny, individually wrapped candies to the “big” prizes. They chose to save their passes and left the room without anything in hand. And some of the kids tried to construct a happy medium – they spent some of their passes now and saved the rest in order to accumulate more passes to buy one of the big prizes at some point in the future.
It got me thinking about what my reaction might be. How do I process joy, I pondered. Am I only looking at that one big prize to give me joy? Or do I make myself happy with very little daily treasures? Or, like those wise students who enjoyed the candy today and still were able to look ahead to a larger gift, do I remember to value today as well as tomorrow?
Just like our wonderful DCES teachers, God rewards us for obeying. We have the best reason of all for joy in our gift of eternal life with Christ. I am reminded of that daily and am grateful. But that is not the only source of joy God has given me. He gives me little gifts along the way, too. My time with the fourth graders today reminded me to take joy in the gifts God blesses me with each day, from enjoying a quiet hour in my garden to savoring a scoop of chocolate ice cream to appreciating the prayers of a friend.
God is good. He gives us gifts both small and large, (and one in particular that was so costly that it cannot be measured in human terms). Let us be thankful for them all.
More about P.R.I.D.E.
Led by Intervention Specialist Brooke Fett, Dayton Christian Elementary School is implementing PBIS (positive behavior intervention and support system) in grades 3-6 this year. Known as P.R.I.D.E., the program is about encouraging and rewarding good behavior. Each student in these grades has a pass and receives stamps on that pass for good behavior. When a pass has five stamps on it, it can used to purchase items in the P.R.I.D.E. store.
Last year Fett and the fifth grade team piloted the program. She and the upper elementary teachers spent time over the summer collaborating and enhancing the program in order to tailor the needs of our school. It was determined that grades 3-6 would have the same classroom rules and consequences in order to make the rewards more uniform.
“PBIS does not mean there are no consequences for bad behavior or poor choices,” said Fett. “But PBIS is a proven intervention system that can be used school-wide to promote positive behavior. What we want is to incentivize students to have ‘PRIDE behavior.”