It was an unforgettable experience for one 5th grade student in Ludlow, when he got the chance to be a varsity Bench Buddy for the Lions football game last month.
It's part of the school's pride program, which is rewarding students for showing that very word both in and out of school.
"It was really fun, and it's a good experience, because I wanted to see how tall they are, and they are really tall," said Matthew Noonan.
5th grader Matthew Noonan cashed in his PBIS coins last month to see the giants of Ludlow High School football up close.
The program started back in 2012, and is based on students displaying pride both in and out of school:
P ositive attitude
R espect self, others, and property
I ndividual responsibility
D o your best
E veryone learns
"When kids demonstrate one of those qualities, we reward them with a cup coin, and they have the opportunity every month to cash in their cup coins for some type of community event," said Principal Knowles.
Those events range from dodgeball with school staff, to arts and crafts, and of course Matthew’s choice, the Bench Buddy, an on-field pass to stand on the sidelines during a varsity sports game, and work hand in hand with the team.
Head football coach Ray told Western Mass News both of those plays were successful.
He prides his players on being positive members of the community, and encourages other kids to cash in their coins for a shot on the sidelines.
Matthew has had so many coins saved up, he is cashing them in again, this time for a hockey game.
"It's a really fun experience, and they just include you like you're part of the team."
The program itself is not exclusive to Ludlow, as Principal Knowles told Western Mass News that several school systems use it, and nearly a dozen students have cashed in on the Bench Buddy system.
Matthew may have been just what the Lions needed, handling Drury High School 34-8, and though their season has come to an end, it’s the lasting memories for these young kids that matter most.
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