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Green card initiative for good children

PUBLISHED: 13:21 21 March 2008 | UPDATED: 19:57 05 July 2010

CHILDREN will be rewarded for good behaviour under a scheme being launched in Suffolk.

Schools and youth groups will be giving out "green cards" for children who behave well or carry out projects which help the community.

CHILDREN will be rewarded for good behaviour under a scheme being launched in Suffolk.

Schools and youth groups will be giving out "green cards" for children who behave well or carry out projects which help the community. They will collect stamps on their cards for a certificate and a chance to win £50 of vouchers.

It is part of the Let's Get a Life Campaign, which is being run with help from Suffolk Police, the district councils and the community partnerships in Waveney and Suffolk Coastal.

Det Sgt Daye Goddard said: "The benefits hugely outweigh the suggestion that it is bribery. It is an encouragement to do something positive rather than something negative.

"It is not rewards for baddies, it is giving an incentive for positive behaviour. The scheme gives that person the chance to win £50 in any one month. They have got to work hard to get 10 stamps and enter a draw in which they have only got one chance to win, and they have to participate in positive activity to qualify."

Those already signed up to take part are Kirkley Middle, Kirkley High, Benjamin Britten High, Colville House and Morton Road youth clubs in Lowestoft, Youth Services in Southwold, Beccles, Bungay and Halesworth, Millennium Volunteers and the Youth Offending Team. It can also be used by adults, such as residents' associations or voluntary groups, if they register with the scheme.

The Let's Get a Life skeleton mascot visited Kirkley Middle yesterday to launch the scheme.

Headteacher Andrea Colley said the school already has an "always" system which records those who break school rules, misbehave in lessons or come unprepared. Those with no black marks against their names are the "always children" and a postcard of congratulations is sent to their parents. Dictionaries have in the past been given out as rewards, and the school is considering arranging a trip for them such as to London or paintballing.

Mrs Colley said: "We started off with quite a low number, and now it is about half the school, which is excellent. The green card scheme is going to continue this. It is reinforcing the message that the school is against anti-social behaviour.

"We are not bribing them. We are saying you have behaved well, now you can have this."

Schools around the country have over the past few years tried various incentives for children to turn up to lessons and behave well, including offering CDs players and mountain bikes as prizes. In 2001 children from Southtown First School, in Yarmouth, were offered free burger meals if they turned up every day. And in 2005 children at Redcastle Furze Primary, in Thetford, were offered chocolate if they could make it to the end of half term without anyone being excluded - followed by a school disco when they managed a whole term.

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