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Photo Information

Ehmma Beach, a social studies and Language Arts teacher and the creator of the Beach Bucks program at Bolden Elementary school aboard Laurel Bay, passes Tom Powell, a sixth grade student at Bolden Elementary school Beach Bucks for good behavior.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Courtney C. White

Bolden Elementary students buying into “Beach Bucks”

18 Dec 2009 | Lance Cpl. Courtney C. White

Bolden Elementary School has offered a program for the last 13 years to sixth grade students, teaching them how to earn and manage money as well as boost responsibility.

The Beach Bucks program was designed by Ehmma Beach, a sixth grade social studies and language arts teacher at Bolden Elementary School.

“When I began teaching sixth grade, I created the Beach Bucks program to manage my students,” Beach said.

The students receive Beach Bucks for good grades and other academic accomplishments, excellent behavior and auction donations the Beach Bucks are awarded in increments of five, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500.

This program encourages positive behavior, community participation and responsibility by teaching each student valuable lifelong lessons while helping the teachers maintain classroom management, according to Beach.

An auction is held at the end of each semester offering items that were donated by sixth grade students and community members. The children who have earned enough Beach Bucks can bid on those items for gifts for their family or for their own desires during the auction.

Several students enjoy the auction because of the opportunity to get Christmas presents for their family, according to Beach.

“A lot of people don’t have money to afford Christmas presents,” said Brittany Robinson, a sixth grade student at Bolden Elementary. “It’s nice to be able to buy stuff for my family for Christmas.”

Both the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Federal Credit Union and the Parent Teachers Organization support the auction. MCAS Beaufort Federal Credit Union provides money bags and checkbook registers to sixth grade students each year. They also instruct the students on the basics of managing a checkbook. The PTO supports the auction with their donations. They have repeatedly supplied the auction with popcorn for the concession stand.

“This program is a great motivating factor,” said Christine Beeler, a parent volunteer for Bolden Elementary. “My daughter is more motivated to succeed.”

Because of this program the students are able to learn basic accounting, the consequences of their actions, the value of saving money and real life skills.

 “The students loan each other money and charge interest to make more money in the long run,” Beach said.

This program allows teachers to maintain their classrooms by holding each student responsible for their actions and rewarding them for their accomplishments.