One of the many exciting things we do in my class is getting Bowes Bucks. If you are well behaved in school, you can get play money called Bowes Bucks, and you can buy special prizes.

This activity, encouraged by our teacher Shari Bowes, teaches students how to write and balance checks. It is based on economics, so kids also get an educational value out of it. Students can earn money by doing something kind for someone else such as helping, encouraging and including others.

You can also earn money by doing an act of kindness such as getting someone's papers if they forgot them and you found them by accident, cleaning up a mess or even holding the door for someone. You can get money taken away by doing something wrong like running in the hallway, calling out in class or distracting others. If you bully someone and the teacher sees it, you will lose all your money, and you will get suspended if it is physical.

When you have enough money to go to the class shopping center (usually about 5 to 10 bucks), you can buy special prizes. You can get very good prizes and items. For example, you can buy a no homework pass for 5. bucks. Something like a pizza lunch with Mrs. Bowes in the classroom instead of eating regular lunch in the cafeteria would take 15 Bowes Bucks. You would have to be extremely good to earn that many.

My soup kitchen experience

This past Thanksgiving my mom, grandma and I went to a soup kitchen in Far Rockaway to feed homeless people or people who don't have enough money to feed themselves. There were a lot of people there. The line of people to get food was almost around the block. Some people came to stay and eat, and others came to get food and either go home or go to a shelter.

One of my jobs was to give packaged food to a lady standing at a table, and there she would give all the packaged food to the people who were leaving. I also had to give out food and drinks to the people who were staying and eating.

All of the people who came in to eat were so happy that I was giving them food. They really appreciated what all of the volunteers at the soup kitchen were doing to help them survive. I learned a lot from working in that soup kitchen.

I think this might be a really good community service thing to do, especially for kids my age.

This thoughtful kind of thing could help them understand that not every family has enough money to buy an iPad or a big TV.

--Kidsday Reporter Jessica Gavzie

CLASS OF THE WEEK: Shari Bowes fourth-grade class, WAVERLY PARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, East Rockaway


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