Glory Sightings: Teaching Life Long Values

Guest Contributor


Students spend ‘Dawg’ Dollars in the Rewards Store at F.S. Ervin Elementary

By Linda McGraw Dailey

“The ‘Rewards Store’ is an incentive program to help children learn that if they work hard in school it will carry them through life. This program is teaching life long values in the lives of these children at F.S. Ervin Elementary School,” said Rev. Dawn Bond.

Students at F.S. Ervin Elementary School, grades Pre-K4 through sixth grade have the opportunity to earn ‘Dawg Dollars’, a monetary system using tickets to spend at the Rewards Store, which is located at the school. Since the mascot at F. S. Ervin Elementary is “Bulldogs,” the term ‘Dawg Dollars’ was created. The children can earn and spend the tickets in the store that is stocked with school supplies, toys, and snacks. Volunteers from the church and community operate the store once a month.

This program is designed for academics and good citizenship for all the students at F.S. Ervin Elementary. Rev. Dawn stated that Richard Bryant, principal of the school is very pleased with the difference this program is making in the students. For some students, attendance is also a requirement for earning ‘Dawg Dollars.’ The requirement for attendance is that each student must be at school and on time for two consecutive weeks.

Rev. Dawn Bond is the pastor of the Pine Hill Charge which includes 3 churches, Pine Hill United Methodist Church, Arlington United Methodist Church, and Kimbrough United Methodist Church. She’s been serving those churches for two years and is in her third year in Pine Hill. Rev. Dawn began looking in the community for a way the church could be involved in a mission project. After talking with Richard Bryant, principal at the school and with her parishioners in the United Methodist Women (UMW) they decided to create and stock a store that would create incentives for the students to excel in their daily work at school. The UMW meets monthly and takes an offering to support this project. Pine Hill United Methodist Church has a special donation for this mission every fourth Sunday. Other churches and members of the community have also gotten involved with the mission project.

A year ago, the pastor applied for a grant through the Rural Church Institute and was awarded $1,800 for their initial investment in this program. The church will hold various fundraisers to add to the stores purchases. It takes approximately $1,000 every other month to keep the store stocked.

The project has energized the congregations and given them new purpose in the community and will hopefully catch on with others seeking new ways to reach out and transform lives.

Anyone who is interested in helping with the Rewards Store program please contact Pat Armstrong, Bobbie Samac or Rev. Dawn Bond at 334-963-9804. Several volunteers are needed once a month to help with this program to make it a success.

The Pine Hill Community is reaching out to encourage the students at F.S. Ervin to be the best they can be!

Excerpts used from a previously printed article that appeared Fall of 2010 in The Wilcox Progressive Era.