Students at Adair County Elementary School have another incentive when it comes to their progress in reading and math, as ACES Café debuted last Friday as a reward for students showing improvement in those areas. A sectioned off area of the cafeteria with a wide selection of reading material, the café will serve as a prize for students who work hard academically.
“It’s not a behavioral reward at all – it’s for reading and math,” explains technology teacher Alice Curry, who worked with curriculum specialist Jennifer Kemp to create the ACES Café concept. “Teachers make the reservations [for lunch] as a reward for students progressing well in reading and math. Sometimes the student will even be able to invite a friend or two sit there with them during the lunch period. Students are already really excited about it.”
Open for only a few days now, students are already asking their teachers what they have to do to have a lunch reservation at the café. The concept has proven an effective, low-cost way of encouraging students to work hard in the classroom. The young scholars at the tables Wednesday were excited to be selected for the honor.
“It feels like an adventure, like we’re at a real café,” says Abbie Kemp, a third grader who was at the reading table Wednesday. Other students, like Tyler Murphy, who sat at the math table, enjoyed the modest amenities the café provides. “I like it because we get straws and mints and get to read magazines,” Murphy says. “All we even had to do was get top six in Accelerated Math.”
Kemp sees the café as another way to recognize students for their hard work. “It’s for any student who deserves the spotlight,” Kemp says. “If we can make them feel special, they need that.”
By Wes Feese
Media Relations, Adair County Schools