Williamson students rewarded with Sweetheart Dance


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By AMANDA TONOLI

atonoli@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Two-stepping staff and students danced the afternoon away at Williamson Elementary in celebration of a well-earned incentive.

Pitbull’s “Don’t Stop The Party” and Cupid’s “Cupid Shuffle” were among the songs thumping from the Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Dance that attracted kindergarten through eight-graders to their school gym from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Kindergarten through fourth-graders got first dibs at the dance from 1 to 2 p.m. followed by fifth- through eighth-graders from 2 to 3 p.m.

Michelle Payich, Williamson Elementary principal, said the dance is an incentive for students: If students have good behavior, academics and attendance they are rewarded with an activity or treats each month.

Past rewards have included free shirts and hooded sweatshirts sporting Williamson pride and a Harvest Dance in the fall.

“All you have to do is keep your test scores up and stay out of trouble,” said Xhariale Bankston, eighth-grader. The requirements, she added, are easy tasks to achieve – and well worth it.

“I love the music – it’s just great,” Bankston said.

Bankston danced her way into the gym, accompanied by not only her friends, but also her principal.

“Seeing the kids have fun and seeing the smiles on their faces makes it all worthwhile,” said a dancing Payich. “They’re just having a great time.”

To attend the dance, students were also required to maintain their expected I-Ready, or computer learning, hours of productive time to attend the dance.

Students had a hard time bottling their excitement when they were called over the loudspeaker to the party in the gym.

Fellow eighth-grader Willie Jones said he expected to have great time as a reward for a good stint in school.

He said simply: “It’s going to be lit.”

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