PMP:038 Celebrating Good Deeds with a Class Cup

I know a lot of schools have creative ways to celebrate the positive behaviors they want students showing on a daily basis.
This school year, our student council and their sponsor, Ms. Franklin, launched plans to award a Class Cup to the grade of students who show the most participation in good deeds and school spirit throughout the school year.
Similar to the award given to students in the fictional world of Hogwarts, the wizardry school in the Harry Potter series, students will be tracked throughout the year in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12. Based on which class earns the most points, one class will be awarded the big trophy and bragging rights at the end of the school year.
When I met with our student leaders earlier in the semester to talk about their plans, they explained some of the steps they would follow to introduce the idea, track points among students, and recognize merits as the momentum builds. If you’re thinking about starting a new initiative for improving school culture, consider three simple ideas from the Class Cup implementation:

1. Introduce with a video promo.

At our first school pep assembly, our student council officers explained that the contest was on for winning points, and they showed a great promo-video to introduce the idea. Our STUCO sponsor, Ms. Franklin, used a free video-creator at to create it. Rolling this out to all students was a great way to set the stage and explain what they could expect throughout the school year.

2. Have an efficient process.

Later, Ms. Franklin followed up with a presentation to our faculty on how the process would be followed. As teachers were identifying students who deserve recognition for a good deed, the teacher can submit the name via a Google Form. The beauty of Google Forms is that the link is directly connected to a Google Spreadsheet. When the Google Form information is submitted, the data is automatically updated within that spreadsheet.

Here’s an example of what the Google spreadsheet looks like that is automatically populated.

3. Provide recognition.

As students are demonstrating noteworthy behaviors, we respond via daily announcements on which class has more points. Also, each day our student leaders deliver Good Deed Award Certificates to students throughout the building by presenting the certificate to them in front of the peers each morning when they deliver them. Here’s an example:

Some Good Deeds Stories

Since we’ve started recognizing good deeds, I have really enjoyed some the feedback we’ve received from various positive moments happening with students.
Just a few days ago, I received an email after a group of our senior students volunteered for a Habitat for Humanity project.

Dear _______,
The Skiatook High School group that volunteered with me today was easily the best group I have ever worked with in my three years with Habitat. They were all very eager to help, and didn’t mind doing anything I asked (mostly cleaning, caulking, and painting). Most groups scoff at the slightest notion of doing any of those jobs, however this group readily performed all these tasks and showed a high attention to detail. I would love to have them again on one of my builds in the future.

After receiving this email, I forwarded it along to our Student Council sponsor with a suggestion our senior class receive some points toward the Class Cup.
Here are two more really great emails we received that we used to celebrate good deeds:
An email from a teacher assistant:

“Good Morning! I just wanted to share with you all a good deed by two of our students. I fell in the commons area on Friday. They had just mopped the floor and down I went. Two young men stopped to help me. Jeremy A and Alec H. There was no laughing or making fun of me. They were genuinely concerned about me. Jeremy helped me up off the floor and both of the boys stood there by me to make sure I was ok. Alec even stopped by the concession stand at the ballgame to check on me. I just wanted to give a shout out to these young men for being so sweet and kind to me! Their kindness to me made my day!”

And this last one was emailed to us by a couple in a neighboring town who wanted to give our students some kudos:

On August 16, 2016, my wife and I had the privilege of witnessing the actions of the Skiatook girls softball team as we had our meal in the Arby’s restaurant in Pryor, OK.
The team had just finished playing their ball game against Pryor High School, which we witnessed by the way, and they stopped for their meal before driving back to Skiatook. We were impressed with their conduct while there. They ordered their meals and while some of them had time to eat while there, some had to take their meals on the bus.
As they departed, all of the chairs were moved back to the tables, all of the trash was cleared from the tables and deposited in trash containers and we witnessed some team members picking up dropped food from the floor and depositing it in trash containers. Due to the teams efforts, the restaurant was as clean or cleaner than when they arrived.
Just like to congratulate your coaching staff, the school and the team for displaying good citizenship. They were not loud and seemed to respect each other as they waited for their meals.
We pray for you and them, a good life and God’s blessings. It was a pleasure to be with them.
Mr. and Mrs. C. Snider
Owasso, OK


When you have a mindset of looking for positive deeds, you will see students act with kindness or generosity everyday. On the one hand, these behaviors should be expected and considered normal. On the other hand, if spend more time correcting poor behavior rather than recognizing good deeds, then we run the risk of missing out on drawing attention to the kinds of behaviors we want to spotlight in our schools.

Now It’s Your Turn

What are some other ways you can promote great deeds happening throughout your school? Share those ideas with the rest of us.

Sign-Up For Free Updates and Ebook

When you enter your email address below, you will automatically receive Principal Matter posts and a free Ebook, 8 Hats: Essential Roles for School Leaders. Let’s keep learning together!

Subscribe for free weekly updates and receive free e-book!

* indicates required

(function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]=’EMAIL’;ftypes[0]=’email’;fnames[1]=’FNAME’;ftypes[1]=’text’;fnames[2]=’LNAME’;ftypes[2]=’text’;}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true);

Principal Matters–The Book!

Principal Matters (Final) 3D
School leaders are very busy, so each of the twenty-four chapters is designed as a quick-read and followed with take-action questions for follow-up or reflection. If you want practical ideas on understanding your purpose, managing school teams, dealing with challenges, and leading with courage, action, motivation, and teamwork, go HERE to pick up a copy for you or your team.

Think someone else would benefit from this episode?
William D. Parker
William D. Parker