Youth who participate in afterschool programs in Palm Beach County and beyond know that these programs are home to rewarding experiences, as they are able to develop their social and emotional skills, explore new interests and grow into their true selves.
For children and youth at Clifford O. Taylor Kirklane Elementary Afterschool Program in Lake Worth, Florida, these rewarding experiences go one step further. Here, youth are able to earn “Sailor Cash” or pretend money for a variety of good behaviors that they are then able to spend on real rewards offered by the program.
Candace Dixon, the program’s afterschool director uses the Sailor Cash store as one of the many ways she works to build community and encourage positive interactions between the youth and staff at her program. She credits Prime Time trainings, like the Restorative Practices in OST training ,for helping her to build this community along with other social and emotional learning (SEL) practices.
“I have been trying really hard to implement Social Emotional Learning (SEL) with my staff and students. For staff I have a mental awareness check in board that they can update daily, and for students I have a ton of tools for self-soothing, as well as a spot for cool down and reflection time in place of a “time out.” – Candace Dixon, Afterschool Director
“Candace is dedicated to providing positive youth and staff interactions. She is currently participating in the Restorative Practices training series and implementing safe circles with her youth. Youth are participating in community building circles, problem solving circles, and restorative questions sessions. Through these practices, youth are strengthening relationships, building trust, problem solving and repairing harm.” – Yolanda Adams, Quality Advisor, Prime Time Palm Beach County
Candace, was able to take advantage of Prime Time’s Program Enhancement Grants offered in early 2021 to give the youth in her program rewards that they would truly love. Through these grants, made possible by the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Candace was able to purchase three Refurbished Nintendo Switch Systems, two Fujifilm Mini Polaroid Cameras, several PopIt toys and more for the Sailor Cash Store.
One of the youth in her program, Hugo (pictured right), who is now in the fourth grade, has been saving his Sailor cash for more than two years before he saved up enough to purchase a Nintendo Switch. Hugo, along with other students at the program can earn sailor cash throughout the day by going above and beyond during group activities, following group expectations, becoming star student of the month and for being a great role model for their fellow students. The most a student can earn at one time is $20 for being the Star Student of the month, a title huge earned while working towards his goal of buying a Nintendo Switch.
“Hugo is such a sweet, loving, and caring young man. He always has a positive attitude when coming to afterschool and is so respectful to all people he meets, whether it’s his fellow students, teachers or afterschool staff. It was my pleasure to count his Sailor Cash and exchange it for the Nintendo Switch. Hugo truly earned it.” – Candace Dixon, Afterschool Director
To become student of the month, youth in the program have to show that they are always willing to help, be on task, be a role model to their classmates, offer help in any capacity, have a positive attitude and make the correct choices a majority of the time. As one of her programs star student’s Candace couldn’t be any happier to see Hugo’s good behavior earn him this incredible reward.