A culture of positive

Since folks at village hall first brought in the concept of changing the behavior of local kids by rewarding positives instead of dinging them for being bad actors, the PBIS program has spread across many spots in town where kids gather.

The public schools actively use PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports). Cops use it and so do librarians, park district staff and adults at the community center. Now PBIS in Forest Park is adding a new sphere: Local businesses.

Defiant Comics is a new shop in town that caters to both adults and children. One of its owners, Don Wasilevich, already has two kids in the D91 schools and has seen the program at work. Establish a set of teachable expectations. Spell out those expectations. And reward the kids who meet those expectations. 

The PBIS committee is encouraging other local businesses to join in the discussion. The plan is to use familiar PBIS messages in local shops and, perhaps, to create a cross-marketing program where small rewards are offered to kids doing good that could redeemed at other shops in town.

More broadly, the hope is not only will kids be better behaved but it will expand the sense that our local kids are enveloped in a community that cares about them and has high expectations for them. If they see PBIS at work in schools and at the pool and at the ice cream shop and the diner on Madison Street, Forest Park kids will rise to those expectations.