Collage of photos of students enjoying mini-golf inside their school gymnasium

Johnston Elementary School students had a wonderful par-tee to celebrate great behavior and good decisions. Students played a full Mini Golf course in their school gym! Students worked together to earn “Bear Paws”, based on the school’s mascot, that are used to fill up letters on a large sign hung in the main hallway that reads “BEARS”. Each letter of “BEARS” that’s completed means another reward for students.

“That’s new this year,” says 2nd grade teacher Abigail Myers. “In the past, some of our rewards were dependent on individual behavior - if you didn’t behave well, you weren’t allowed to participate. We changed how we did it, and now students work collaboratively to earn the reward, which I think the students have responded to really well. You see them encouraging each-other. There’s the sense that ‘it’s going to take all of us to earn this reward.’”

Mr. Canaan Frisby, gym teacher and Johnston’s 2024 Teacher of the Year, spent hours with other teachers to create the “Winter Wonderland” themed mini golf course. He guided students on their putting skills through the 18-hole course which included a paper castle, large paper snowmen, and culminated in a downhill ramp.

“We really want to make something spectacular for the kids,” said Ms. Myers. “Even if it’s a lot to set up, it’s worth it to see the smiles on their faces and how they talk about it for days after.”