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Let the games begin

Students given points for good deeds, earn access to game room


by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Seventh-graders Jacob Walton and Tristan McNemar hold up the design scheme they came up with for Estacada Junior High School's game room.Surrounded by brightly painted walls and the remnants of paint supplies, members of the Estacada Junior High School student council eagerly explain what the room will look like when it’s finished.

The school has developed a point system designed to allow varying degrees of access to a VIP-style game room.

How do you earn points?

Good deeds.

Students earn “roars awards” for things like perfect attendance, picking up trash in the hallways and class participation.

Thirty points earns a student a silver tiger card and daily access to the game room during free-time after lunch.

About 40 students have earned silver tiger cards so far this year.

For another 30 roars awards, the student becomes a gold tiger card holder.

Students with gold tiger cards get to bring a friend to the game room.

Gold card holders even get to visit the game room during the day when supervision is available and they’re caught up on their work.

Only six students are gold tiger card holders so far.

For 90 points, students join the exclusive circle of diamond card holders.

These elite students get to bring two friends with them to the game room.

The student council came up with the game room rules themselves.

The point system isn’t just about the game room, card holders often are “ambushed” and pulled out of class for treats like hot chocolate or pop tarts, but the room does seem to be the big reward for positive habits.

by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Art teacher and student council adviser Angennette Escobar cracks jokes with the students as they discuss the merits of good deeds with or without the hope or roars awards.“This room is an incentive for good behavior,” said Angennette Escobar, art teacher and student council adviser.

Escobar explained that Principal Tina Rhue asked Escobar to renovate the room this year and formed a student council of hand-picked students to help with the task.

“This year our goal was to renew it and make it exciting and a place where students want to be,” Escobar said.

The project has been largely DIY.

Students came up with color schemes and visual motifs and surveyed the student body for how they would like the room to look.

Seventh-graders Jacob Walton and Tristan McNemar came up with the winning design-scheme: graffiti style in greens and blues.

Escobar said that the graffiti motif will be used to artistically display educational themes.

When finished, various parts of the room will be covered in student-painted murals.

An image of a tiger bursting through wood will be added to the room’s door as well.

by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Eigth-grader Justin Hall calculated how much paint would need to be purchased to repaint the room. Hall had never done something like that before the game room project.Eighth-grader Justin Hall calculated how much paint they would need to purchase to redo the room.

Hall said he’d never done something like that before.

The students painted the room themselves.

Other students are doing Internet research to find furniture for the room.

Funds for the renovations have come from a Figaro’s Pizza grant and money raised by the student council.

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The student council jumps for joy after True Value Hardware sold them designer paint at a significant discount.Escobar said that True Value Hardware “practically gave” the students the paint for the room, as they allowed the student council to purchase the designer-color paint at a huge discount.

There is still some work to be done before the room is officially open to the card holders.

Paint touch ups, adding the murals, getting rid of the old furniture and ordering new furniture are on the to-do list.

Eventually, card holders will be able to use the room to play Wii, Xbox, air hockey and watch videos or chat with their pals from the comfort of bean bag chairs.

Escobar estimates the room will be open to card holders in about three weeks.

Students said they notice their classmates doing good deeds in hopes of roars awards.

Now that they’re in the habit, several students said, they’ll probably keep it up even if they don’t get points for it.

The student council is excited to see the finished product and, according to Walton, “to see smiling children playing.”




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