Elementary school opens store to reinforce positive behavior

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - An elementary school in Shelby County is opening a store where students can buy prizes but not with money.

The principal at Robert R. Church Elementary, Marqui G. Fifer said he’s only asking for his students to be the “best you that you can be.”

With the new Trailblazer Incentive Store, teachers and administrators at Robert R. Church hope to further encourage students to be their best.

“RTI, Response to Intervention, and instruction,” said Dr. James Patton, the Assistant Principal.

Also called RTI-2-B, it’s a statewide approach that schools are taking to reinforce positive behavior in students.

“It’s difficult to teach a child, if there are behavioral issues,” said Dr. Patton. “So that’s why when we talk about the focus of the academic piece, we have to take care of the behavior part first.”

In the Trailblazer Incentive Store, you’ll see numbers by all of the prizes that represent points students can earn in class.

“Our main focus is behavior, attendance and participation,” said Raymond Edwards, the school’s Family Engagement Specialist.

The store at Robert R. Church is sponsored by the Tau Iota Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Incorporated.

The fraternity donated $10,000 to the school’s program.

Kids can earn points to buy everything from watches to AirPods and even video gaming systems.

“The hope is basically to change mindsets,” said Edwards. “If we are able to change mindsets, we believe our students will be able to succeed in the classroom and also outside of the classroom.”

“This starts that mindset change. And that’s why my kids are going to walk out of here every single day and say with pride that I go to the Robert R. Church Elementary school,” said Fifer.

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