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Hamlin students use holiday store to give gifts to others


Hamlin Holiday Store

Hamlin Middle School students this week were able to shop for their loved ones without worrying about money. Instead, the sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students were able to use their hard-earned pride tickets to purchase – and have gift-wrapped –a variety of items at the Hamlin Holiday Store.

Throughout the school year, students earn Pride Tickets for positive behavior. Every teacher at the school hands them out for various reasons, such as acts of kindness, participation in classroom discussions and other good deeds. The ticket system is an example of the district’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Support -  or ideas and systems used to achieve important behavior changes.

Students earn the tickets throughout the year and can use them at the regular Hamlin store to buy pencils and snacks among other things. But they can also save them for the one week of the year that the Hamlin Holiday Store is up and running. 

Different organizations donate various small gifts for students to purchase just before winter break. Many students buy presents for their siblings, parents, cousins or friends and others buy for themselves.

“I’d say 80 percent of students shop for their family and friends,” said Hamlin Assistant Principal Rachel Allen. “But we don’t discourage students from shopping for themselves. They can spend their pride tickets however they want – they earned them.”

On Thursday morning before winter break, students were able to visit the store for about 15 minutes at a time to pick out an item or two. Items ranged from jewelry to coloring books, stuffed animals to games and everything in between. Some items only cost 2 pride tickets, some cost 30.

In addition to buying gifts at the Holiday Store, students can also get them wrapped for only a couple of pride tickets. Parents, grandparents and other volunteers beautifully wrap the presents in

Allen said that one student, who purchased a present for his mother earlier in the week, told her that his mom was in tears because of the gift.

“He said she overjoyed to receive a present from her son and was crying because she wouldn’t be able to give him anything this year,” Allen said. “It’s just a perfect way for students to be able to get presents without worrying about coming up with the money for it. So many of them just want to give.”