Warrior Bucks Program: Get caught being good

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

Students are rewarded for good grades, athletic achievements and extracurricular activities.

The teachers and administration at Pocahontas County High School are going a step farther to reward students for simply being good people.

The Warrior Bucks Program, which began this school year replaces the Warrior Wampum bucks. With the Warrior Bucks, students receive a “buck” every time they do a good deed at school, go above and beyond or have an exceptional day.
Band director Bob Mann brought the program to PCHS, basing it on Viking Bucks, a program implemented at Sims Valley High School where Mann previously taught.

“It is simply a chance,” Mann said. “The more good stuff you do, the more you get. My band students are subject to Warrior Bucks because they just completed a successful season. Once we started the program, I wrote them all a Warrior Buck – automatically. Students that made honor bands. They’ll get [them] because they’re going above and beyond.”

Warrior Bucks are given in and outside of the classroom. Whether a student makes a 100 on a test or they help a fellow student pick up their books in the hallway, there are many ways to receive a Warrior Buck.

The staff has even come up with “snares” to see if students choose to do a good deed.

“We code named it ‘the Good Samaritan Snare,”’ Mann said. “During hall duty, a teacher will have a trash can near them and discreetly throw a piece of paper on the floor. If a student comes by and puts it in the trash, the student gets a Warrior Buck. We’ve told the teachers not to be stingy with them. Give them away. Whenever you do something good and you get something for it, it feels great.”

The Warrior Buck is just the first half of the program. After receiving Warrior Bucks, the students place them in a box located in the school office. At the end of the third nine weeks, the school will have an awards assembly. Mann, principal Bob Miller and assistant principal Richard Atkins will draw Warrior Bucks out of the box. The students, whose names are drawn, will select a reward from a table full of gifts.

“So far Snowshoe has gotten us some of the stuff,” Mann said. “We’ve talked about front of the lunch line passes, stuff like that. The little things that don’t cost anything but mean a lot. We might even work out gift certificates if local businesses would help out doing things such as that.”

The Dropout Prevention program donated $1,000 to the Warrior Bucks Program and Mann plans to purchase gift cards for the awards table.

“At the school where I borrowed this idea, when they did it, they had prizes that ranged from a $25 Walmart gift card, gas cards and they even put together a movie date night,” Mann said. “They went as far as $500 cash. They also did iPads, tablets and iPod touches. They even had a used car – that was the biggest reward they did.”

While Mann doesn’t have a car to give away – yet – he says he hopes the community will get involved to make the rewards a big deal for the students.

“I’m really eager to see how this program does,” he said. “I’m very thankful to the Dropout Prevention program that’s here because this is what is helping fund this. If we have community members come in and help us out, that would simply be the icing on the cake. That would make it even better because that’s what this program is – it will benefit the students in the long run. It’s something that could motivate our kids to be better individuals and that’s our goal.”

The reward day is scheduled for March 23. Donations may be made to PCHS for the program. For more information, contact Bob Mann at 304-799-6565.

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