Rewards for children

MARK SCOTTNorth West Telegraph

Workers at the Youth Involvement Council raised more than $500 in raffle tickets and door-takings at the Finucane Island Club last weekend, in support of a rewards program at the Lawson Street Youth Centre.

Centre co-ordinator Te Rangimarie Pakau said the money would go towards a “Lawson Street dollars” program, where children were rewarded for good behaviour and attendance at the drop-in centre.

“Every time the kids show appropriate behaviour or come along to one of our programs, we will put Lawson Street dollars into their Lawson Street bank account,” she said.

“On the other hand, if they’re exhibiting inappropriate behaviour, they’ll receive fines and lose out.

“At the end of each month we’ll be holding a cafe shop, the kids can use their dollars to buy hot drinks, snacks and age-appropriate gifts, and that’s what the money we raised goes towards.”

YIC educator Lisa McMillan has run a similar and very successful system in her education program for more than a year.

Ms Pakau said the benefits of the new initiative were three-fold.

“We’re encouraging the kids to behave appropriately, teaching them life-skills in terms of how to handle money and bank accounts, and we’re empowering the kids to show them that they can do the right thing and they will be rewarded,” she said.

“This is just a trial but we’re sure the kids will really take to it.”

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