Oak Bucks Pilot Program Means Stronger Bonds, More Kindness in Middle School

The Oak Bucks initiative in the middle school is creating quite the buzz among students. The program is designed to encourage good behavior and strong work ethic among students and strengthen the bonds between teachers and students.

Here’s how it works:

When a teacher or faculty member sees a middle school student putting forth great effort, making academic and behavioral strides, doing something commendable or exhibiting positive character traits, that teachers fills out a form—dubbed an “Oak Buck”—to present to the student. Once a student has been awarded an Oak Buck, it can’t be taken away.

Next, students are asked to visit Middle School Counselor Rawn Boulden to receive a small prize and a chance to win (via an end-of-quarter raffle) donuts for their advisory.

“This is all about relationship building,” said Boulden. “We want to create an environment rich in trust, hard work and good deeds, and I’ve found those traits grow with praise and recognition. I’ve already seen students light up upon receiving an Oak Buck—it means a lot to them.”

Middle school students and teachers alike are looking forward to spreading kindness and caring through their division—and a few donuts won’t hurt either!

Grant Fowler ’24 was one of the first students to receive an Oak Buck, and he’s really glad he did. “It was fun to get a kazoo from Mr. Boulden’s office,” he said. “I got the Oak Buck for really listening and participating in class. I think the Oak Buck system is good because it inspires [students] to be better people.”