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Taking pride

Dawson-Bryant Middle School promoting good behavior, positivity

COAL GROVE — Every Friday this school year, a student at Dawson-Bryant Middle School is recognized and given a T-shirt for displaying good behavior that week.

This is part of the school’s “Take Pride” program, implemented this year by second-year principal Rick Roach, who said he wanted to figure out a way for the students to take pride in everything they do.

“This year I wanted to do something to incorporate a sense of pride for our staff and students,” Roach said. “I want them to take pride in going to school, not getting into trouble, getting good grades, doing the right things and keeping the school and environment clean.”

Roach picks a student who has done something deserving of recognition after seeing something himself, or listening to teachers’ suggestions of students.

Every Friday morning, when the students meet in the gymnasium before the start of the school day, a student is brought up in front of the school to be recognized and given a “Take Pride” T-shirt.

The first three students this year to be recognized and rewarded were sixth graders Chase Blair and Dakota Wilson, and seventh grader Abbie Hicks.

Roach said Blair found $25 and returned it, saying it wasn’t his, instead of keeping it, while Wilson found and returned an iPhone for the same reason. Hicks received the award for pushing to become a better cross country runner and improving significantly from last year.

“I was happy,” Blair said. “I feel good doing the right thing because it wasn’t my money, and I didn’t feel like I needed to keep it.”

Hicks and Wilson said they were also very happy when they received the recognition.

“I felt excited and proud when they called my name,” Hicks said.

Eighth grade language arts teacher Amy Lucas said the program has made a huge difference in the students’ overall attitude and feeling about school.

“The Take Pride program allows students to build and take pride back in our school and community. It brings awareness to each student that it does count to be polite and helpful of others,” she said. “The students are definitely holding more responsibility of picking up, being nice and it just makes them more aware. They’re willing to volunteer and help other students a lot more.”