CARING: A new program implemented at Poly that rewards kind behavior.
By Micah Pierce, Staff Writer
This past month, Poly teachers all received several neon green Kindness Kounts tickets. These tickets are to be used to promote acts of kindness at Poly and improve the general milieu of the school. When teachers spot a student performing a kind act, they now have the ability to give them a ticket. Once a student has one of these tickets, he or she can go to room 11 during their free time to receive a prize for demonstrating kindness. Some examples of kind acts include: assisting another student or teacher in any way, holding doors open for people, paying another student a compliment, or socializing with students who are by themselves.
Once a student receives his or her prize, the ticket is kept and placed into a bin. A raffle is held at the end of every month in which a student of the month is chosen from all of the tickets collected that month. If a student is kinder, they will have a higher chance of being picked as student of the month. This raffle is separate from and will not interfere with the opportunity for teachers to pick quarterly PRIDE awards for the Principal’s Breakfast.
Mr. Alex Figueroa, a Spanish 2 and 3 teacher at Poly, encourages students to be kind and truly earn these tickets, instead of just acting nice to earn a prize. So far, Mr. Figueroa has only handed out one ticket, and it was to his third period TA. He is even going so far as to reward students who receive tickets with participation stamps, stamps that are necessary to achieve an adequate grade and possibly extra credit in his classes. Mr. Figueroa said, “I give extra stamps to support the program. I want to add an incentive to what I think is a great idea.” Mr. Figueroa is fully embracing the Kindness Kounts program, and hopes to see more acts of kindness so he can give out more tickets.
Cody Gomber (11), does not feel the same way about the program. “I don’t think the program is a very good idea, truly being kind means doing something nice without expecting a reward,” Gomber said. According to Gomber, the purpose of being kind is defeated if people are only doing it to benefit themselves. Another good point Gomber brought up was the use of resources. “I also think it’s a waste of resources, such as paper, money, and time,” Gomber said. There are other fields that these resources could benefit, but the impact it will have on funds is not very significant. Clare O’Brien (10), argues the opposite. “The program promotes kindness at Poly, which is in short supply,” O’Brien said. She believes that the program is necessary in order to improve Poly’s atmosphere and reputation.
Collin Avery (10) has already earned a ticket. He earned his ticket by helping his literature teacher pass out graded papers, and also supports Kindness Kounts. He agrees with O’Brien about publicizing the program. “I think that if students knew that the tickets existed it would help improve the conditions at Poly,” Avery said. His view differs from Gomber’s, and he doesn’t believe that students will be kind only to benefit themselves. “The students who would help out anyways are the ones who are going to be receiving these prizes,” Avery said. When asked if receiving a ticket felt rewarding or fulfilling, Avery replied, “At first no, because at the time I’d never heard of them. Now I think that it’s cool that I can get a prize simply for behaving like a decent human being.”
It’s clear that students can and will have many different opinions on the new Kindness Kounts program. This program has the potential to bring positive change to Poly and improve its overall learning environment.