Thanks to the vision of a teacher and a motivated parent, dozens of kids at Spanish Fort High School are being rewarded for helping their fellow students.
It’s called the Positive Referral Program, where students seen doing good deeds are given gift cards as a thank you. Since the program began, the positive influence of the students has been spreading.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018, two more Spanish Fort High School students were called out for their good deeds. Walter Patton and Nathan Brown were called to the principal’s office where they were presented letters of appreciation. A letter is also sent home to the parents, thanking them for being positive influences. Both were nominated by a teacher who observed them doing acts of kindness. Both will also receive gift cards, but not until they find a fellow student also spreading the good vibes.
“Pretty cool experience, you know, being able to select somebody for what they do around here, you know, positive referral. It’s always great to have a good atmosphere around here,” Brown said.
“It’s a good feeling to know we’re in a good atmosphere, to have good kids around and you know, to be able to hear these kind of things, it makes you want to do even more good, you know,” Patton added.
Tired of negative publicity, Curriculum Director at Spanish Fort HS, Chelsea Baldwin set out to cast a spotlight on the good going on in schools. To help reward positive actions with positive results, parent and local businessman, Carl Gustafson upped the ante by securing gift cards at local restaurants.
“If you look at any school who uses the positive referral system, they’ll tell you that the more positive referrals they get, the less negative referrals they see so it’s really like positivity promotes positivity,” Baldwin explained.
So far, more than 60 referrals have been rewarded and they keep coming in. Students who’ve been recognized said they can tell a difference around campus.
“It also brings us together as a group…the people who get the positive referrals and we kind of get to hang out together and just fellowship and it strengthens all of us together,” said Aaron George.
“People do take it seriously,” added double referral recipient, Dillon Atwood. “Like, whenever I got my first one, I’d come to school and people would congratulate me. They saw it on social media and stuff like that so it’s out there. They know and you can really feel the vibes for it.”
The types of things that are looked for are random acts of kindness, respect, gratitude, honesty and the like. So far, it looks as if the program is accomplishing everything it set out to.