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At the Hop

Video Focus: Burlington Sock Hop

Stepping through the doors into the Burlington Elementary School gym on Thursday and Friday was like stepping through a time portal back to the 1950s.

The sounds of Chubby Checker, Chuck Berry, and of course Elvis Presley echoed off the gymnasium walls, as poodle skirts twirled on the dance floor. The time warp was a part of a rewards program started by Burlington principal Mylissa Bentley.

“I became principal here three years ago,” Bentley said. “We started the rewards program then as an incentive to promote good behavior amongst our students.”

The reward changes with each nine-week grading period, as does the behavioral standard each student must meet to participate.

“The reward gets bigger each nine weeks,” Bentley said. “For the first reward students have to have had three or less infractions, that drops to two the next time around and so on. So the sock hop dance was our third one of the year and the kids had to have one or no infractions to participate.”

The sock hop dance was a big hit with the children, many of which dressed in typical ‘50s garb as they danced, and laughed to the old school tunes. After the dance was over the participating students were met with one more stalwart from the era. Each student received a ticket to exchange for a root beer float at lunch.

“The students really seem to enjoy it,” Bentley said. “Most importantly it’s working. Ninety-six percent of our student body was able to participate this time, and that’s a testament to how well behaved the kids we have here are.”