This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
WEST WHITELAND — The green tracks outside of Mary C. Howse Elementary School were signs of a new presence around the school.
A dragon, which visited Principal Stephen Catrambone over the summer, was looking for a new home and thought Mary C. Howse could be the place for him.
As Catrambone told the students at the school, they needed to practice three things in order for the dragon to call it home: respect, responsibility and safety.
“You guys have done such a great job showing all the expectations up to this point,” Catrambone said to the students during a special assembly Friday afternoon.
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The assembly kicked off the School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions & Support (SWPBIS) and started with a parade of classroom flags, featuring hand- crafted flags for each classroom at the school.
Each of the flags will be displayed in the cafeteria for the remainder of the school year.
In addition to all the students, teachers and staff of Mary C. Howse at the assembly, some special guests also came out, including school board member Sue Tiernan, district Superintendent Jim Scanlon and more. Some parents even came out for the event.
In order for the dragon to come back to Mary C. Howse, the students had to take the pledge to “be the best that (he or she) can be, to respect (oneself) and others and to take responsibility for (his or her) learning and behavior.”
Students had to show, and continuing to practice, those three expectations at school, on the bus and even at home.
“We have been waiting to see if the dragon wants to make Mary C. Howse its home,” Catrambone said. “Even though you may not be here at school, it’s important to show safety, respect and responsibility.”
As a reward for being respectful, responsible and safe, students who display one or more of those expectations can receive a new Dragon Dollar Reward.
These rewards, which resemble monetary bills with a dragon on them, will have the student’s name on it and the student can then take that reward and place it in a Dragon Dollar Reward Box.
There are three Reward Boxes the students can choose from – an extra recess, lunch with Catrambone or wearing your favorite hat. A raffle will then be held and 25 dollars with names will be pulled from the boxes.
“When somebody sees you doing something good, you’re going to be acknowledged,” Catrambone said.
Before introducing the Dragon Dollar at the assembly, a handful of students were already acknowledged the day before or earlier that day and were the first to place their dollars in whichever reward box they chose.
Those students also had the chance to explain why they received their Dragon Dollar, which ranged from picking up popcorn off the floor and helping a friend cleanup after lunch to riding the bus safely and standing up for a friend who was being bullied.
Near the end of the assembly, a breaking news story was played on the screen with the reports of a dragon seen “flying over Exton toward West Chester.”
The students, who broke out in excited chatter when the video showed the dragon landed right outside their building, erupted into cheers when it walked into the room to proclaim Mary C. Howse as its new home and their new mascot.
Along with the Dragonettes, otherwise known as the West Chester Henderson High School Dance Team, the dragon put on a little dance and was then serenaded by the students with a new song written for it, set to the tune of the popular “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon.