GRAYSON -- Couch Middle School students "caught being good" during the school year got rewarded with a cookout Friday as part of the inaugural Lunch-A-Palooza.
From a set of loudspeakers, counselor David Anderson's voice boomed out across a field behind the school, where hundreds of students played basketball, football and bean bag toss.
"Yeaaaaahhhhh, that's how we do it at Couch Middle School, y'all," said Anderson, moonlighting as a DJ for the event. "Rewarding y'all for doing all kinds of good things."
He turned off his microphone and blasted pop music, while a group of nearby students turned the sidewalk into a makeshift dance floor.
Principal Devon Williams said that more than 657 students got to take part in the event. Williams took a break from flipping burgers Friday afternoon to brag on the young people.
"These are the kids who have been good this year," Williams said. "We're hoping to influence the entire student body to take note that good behavior is rewarded."
Lunch-A-Palooza, said Anderson, is an event that reinforces faculty and staffs' message to students: Respect Others, Accept Responsibility, Model Kindness and Strive for Success (RAMS).
"We acknowledge students with our token economy system (stickers) as we 'catch them getting it right' throughout the day," Anderson said. "Those students attending Lunch-A-Palooza bought their tickets with their stickers."
Student Reegan Tessmer, 14, said he very much enjoyed the event.
"It's really cool," Tessmer said. "It's nice being able to spend time with my friends out here."
Tessmer took turns Friday at the bean bag toss with a friend. "It's a nice day for it too," he added.
Students like Tessmer "earned it" Williams said. "This is our way of saying thanks."