WILDWOOD - Attending elementary school just blocks from the Wildwood beach has its advantages.

On Thursday, for instance, all of Glenwood Avenue Elementary School's students in grades one to five strolled down Glenwood Avenue to the beach for a Beach Day.

But the trip was about more than beach towels and sandcastles.

The event was a reward and a reminder, a reward for good behavior and a reminder to continue that pattern of good behavior beyond the school year.

The students, with the help of their teachers and members of the city's Beach Patrol, played all sorts of games and relay races as part of what was a first-time event at the school.

"The whole school is here," said Principal John Kummings as the students played and laughed across the beach.

The day was part of a three-year effort called the Positive Behavior Supports In Schools program, overseen by the state Department of Education and the University of Medicine and Dentistry.

Kummings said the school recognizes good behavior by handing students tickets each time they behave appropriately. The tickets then turn into rewards, such as tickets for the school carnival.

"It's building a community within the school," said Michelle Wiseley, a special education teacher at the school.

On Thursday, the students ran relay races, such as one in which they had to put on a color flotation device, silly, oversized sunglasses and flippers.

Teacher Jim DiFalco demonstrated, drawing giggles from the second-graders watching.

"Are we excited to be at the beach or what?" DiFalco asked.

The answer? Cheers and screams and plenty of smiles.

After their race, Joseph Perez, 8, extended his hand to competitor Thomas Williams, also 8.

"That was a good race," Joseph said, exhibiting the kind of behavior the program looks to encourage.

Kummings said Beach Day was the school year's "culminating activity to celebrate global student accomplishments in earning recognition tickets for their conduct throughout the year."

He even ended the day by giving the students a chance to send him into the water in a dunk tank.

Contact Trudi Gilfillian:


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