Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Food Free Rewards for Middle School

My daughter survived her first year of middle school.  Truthfully, it was not as food filled and harrowing as elementary school was.  And, we had a very supportive guidance counselor to help us navigate the challenges, 98% of which stemmed from her allergies.

At her school they have a rewards/recognition program whereby every student in the school has the opportunity to earn points, and those with enough accumulated points participate in an special event each quarter.  Points are earned through academic achievements as well as citizenship in the school and community.  The number of students that participate is quite large!  They throw an event for about 200 students!

Of course, when rewarding that many students, budget is a key consideration.  Pizza was often part of the reward... Pizza means I drop what I am doing that day, and make a pizza to run over to her.  There were a few other foods as well, but pizza is the most time consuming endeavor for me.  And I like to deliver it warm, it's better that way.

Last year I did ask if we could have more rewards where the focus was not on food.  The guidance councilor advised that he would gladly consider that, and asked if I would compile a list of suggestions.  I did!  I included all ranges of budget, and included a separate list of local vendors that are able to provide allergy friendly treats if desired.

I thought I would share that list with you, in case you need inspiration for activities for your middle school kiddo.  These are all activities for large groups, but most could be scaled down to be for one classroom.  Feel free to add to the list- the more ideas the better!

Food Free Celebrations for middle school

  • Trip to Rave Cinema (or other)- fountain drink for all, plus a movie
  • Climbing wall at facility or on location- many bounce house rental places will set one up
  • Face/hand/arm painting and/or henna tattoos
  • Hire local performance artist: magician, band, comedian, etc
  • Dave and Buster’s
  • Sky Zone
  • Skate Zone 71
  • The Chiller
  • Teacher dunking booth, pie in face stand- students stop by during SSR/lunch/study hall, or do festival style with multiple booths available to all students at the same time- including a booth to honor teachers in some way
  • Highlands swimming or Rec Center swimming (the local pools)
  • Zip Zone or similar (local zip line)
  • Bowling
  • Lazer Craze
  • Putt-putt golf, glo-putt
  • Radio station broadcast from school grounds, Ren students can make requests, dance, and convene in area near DJ, station is played over school PA system between classes
  • Life size foosball and hungry hippos (google this- hilarious fun for all!!)
  • Decorate the office staff’s/leadership’s  cars- decorations to remain on for specified amount of time (24-72 hours): supply decorations and split the Ren students into teams to decorate cars- you may need to do more staff cars in order to allow everyone the opportunity to decorate
  • Ren students released 5 minutes early from each class for one day
  • Create a flash mob video for you-tube
  • Stairway pass- earn a pass to use the stairway of your choice for one day/one week
  • Eat lunch outside- combine SSR and lunch for an extended lunch period outdoors
  • Book of homework passes- earn a book of 2,3,or 5 homework passes based on Ren points earned
  • Designate a Ren Room- students can stop by the room on their lunch/study hall/ SSR to play video games on the chrome books, listen to music, socialize, etc
  • Graffiti wall- large sheet of plywood/drywall painted white, students can decorate with paint/sharpies
  • Life size maze set up in field next to school
  • Go- carting
  • Pass to skip a period (could be used to go to the Ren Room)
  • Mammoth water gun fight

Hopefully something above will spark a creative idea in you!  Tell me what you thought of!