ROARS filled the Martin Middle School gym in East Providence Wednesday morning, Dec. 19.
ROARS as in Responsibility-Organization-Achievement-Respect-Safety – a behaviorial expectations program that rewards students with “paws,” said Elisy Blanco-Mercado, a social worker at the school.
The reward for earning 400 “paws” was the student-teacher basketball game against a team from the Moore Basketball Clinic in Hartford, a youth program that challenges kids to excel in the classroom in addition to sports. The Moore is Kendrick Moore, a former Providence College Friars star.
ROARS and “paws” is part of the PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) system at the middle school, said Blanco-Mercado. She and school psychologist Tara Grabowski operate that intervention effort.
“It’s the second year implementing PBIS,” said Grabowski.
The basketball game was a celebration of the success of the program so far, said Blanco-Mercado. Anyone can give out a "paw," she said.
“We’re trying to build a culture here,” said Principal Frank Devall, who laced up his sneakers for the game along with East Providence School Committee Chairman Joel Monteiro.
“It’s recognition for kids doing great things, and building them up,” Devall said. “It’s a good way to let them know they’re having a positive impact on the school.”
Take a look at the one-minute video to get a better idea of the event. Prepare to hear the ROARS.