‘Tis the Season

6 Dec

When I was teaching elementary school I understood the importance of bribery. I am not above it. I have bribed students in many different ways and with many different rewards. I have done individual and group point systems, weekly review systems, homework lover cards similar to coffee cards, straight-up candy bribery and class money where the students could buy items or donate towards class charity projects in other countries (not to toot my own horn on this one, but – toot, toot – we managed to donate enough money to save 3 children from the streets in Ethiopia, buy 2 roosters and 6 hens, and pay for 12 meals at the Union Gospel Mission). Sometimes I even bribe myself; if I clean the whole house I can watch a whole uninterrupted episode of the Vampire Diaries and not feel ashamed that I am a) wasting time like that and b) loving it.

So I thought, what better way to increase library use than bribery?! For the month of December our library is giving away books. As an incentive for students to come in and check out books they get a draw entry for each book that they check out this month. During the last week before Christmas break we will pull a name and they get to come pick a book (we have a selection of new duplicate books that we will be giving away). It has only been a week and we have quite a few people entered. I tell you, it may be illegal but bribery works.

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