away," said Jason, 13, an eighth-grade student at David Starr Jordan
Middle School. "My friends have been bugging me about it, giving me a
hard time for not keeping it."
Cecena was one of 28 students at Jordan Middle who received an encased
silver dollar and an honor certificate, for exemplary behavior in and out
of the classroom, at an award ceremony in the school's library last
Students were awarded for positive attitude and academic improvement,
for turning in lost money, volunteering after school, cleaning classrooms
and informing teachers of problem situations.
Annie Williams, a physical-education teacher at Jordan Middle,
nominated Adriana Powers for helping her get through an emotional moment
during the weeks that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist acts.
"We had received a letter from Laura Bush addressing the attacks and
were supposed to read it to our students, but I got really choked up and
couldn't finish reading it. Adriana simply asked me if I wanted her to
read the letter for me," said Williams, 27. "Her sensitivity and ability
to look beyond herself was touching."
Even at the middle school level, when students are less likely to want
to stand out from the crowd, recognition for positive behavior can give
students a sense of value and have long-term teaching effects, said Karen
Forletta, school psychologist with the Burbank Unified School District.
"Negative consequences stop bad behavior for the moment, but students
will more than likely misbehave again. Recognizing them for something
good, when they may not have expected it gives them a sense of value, and
they will remember that," Forletta said.