Sharing Her Wealth

26 May

Dragon Dollars: tokens that praise students for being ready, respectful and responsible. Students are awarded them from any teacher during the school day for doing something that falls in line with those three school character traits.

Did you help another student pick up some papers she dropped? Dragon Dollar. Did you turn your complete homework project in on time? Dragon Dollar. Were you following the rules in the hallway? Dragon Dollar.

Each week, the school would offer a store where students could cash in their well-earned paper Dragons for passes to skip a homework assignment, wear sunglasses, get an ice cream treat or bring a critter (stuffed animal) to school. Students could also save up for special events. Nate used some for ice cream and then 40 to attend his principal’s birthday bash. He was so excited for that. Then, there was Nia. She saved hers – wanting to make sure she’d have enough for the big celebration and raffle at the end of the year.

Nia earned more than 100 dollars over her Third Grade days. She was able to buy the $50 ticket to the Luau and a $50 ticket for the raffle. She was so proud and happy to be one of the few in her class who could afford to buy both.

When the day came, she made her purchases and then saw that one of her classmates was very sad when he learned he didn’t have enough for the luau or raffle. She knew what she had leftover wasn’t going to give him enough for those but, instead of spending her surplus on some extra swag for herself, she gave them to her friend. She says she doesn’t know what he “bought” with them, only that he was happy and thankful.

I was moved by what she did but I wanted to know more. Would she be so giving to someone who wasn’t her friend? Why didn’t the boy have enough Dragons? Did he not follow the rules like she did?

She told me she wouldn’t want to give them to someone who was mean to her. I told her I can understand that but it’s best to always be kind to everyone. She didn’t love this idea because she was thinking about one girl in particular who is mean to her and didn’t want to reward her for that. I can understand that and part of me agrees with her, but I want to teach her to be giving without judgement or preference – something many adults, even myself, find difficult at times.

She explained that the boy behaved, he just always spent his dollars each week, never saving them. This kind of ties in with the giving without judging view. A lot of people feel they shouldn’t give their dollars to someone who isn’t as careful with theirs. She didn’t look at it that way. She saw a friend who was sad and wanted to help.

I want her to always have the giving heart she has, but I also don’t want her to be a pushover. Difficult to teach and live out. I am so proud of her though – for saving her well-deserved dollars and for sharing without someone prompting her. That’s a great start.

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