The Mercury

Positivity resulting in reward at BFA

Haley Marie Seymour

Haley Seymour, Co-Editor

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Any student who has attended BFA and drives themselves knows student parking is a large problem.

Karla Kane, math teacher and creator of “What’s Your 17 BFA” has created a reward that will allow two students, every two weeks, to have a parking spot on campus.

Kane created the “What’s Your 17 BFA” movement in order to spread positivity and help out others. This movement was originally created after the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people tragically passed away on Feb. 14, 2018.

Other schools have also taken part in the “What’s Your 17” movement. Stroudsburg High School in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania participated by holding an assembly to honor the lives lost in Parkland. At Stroudsburg High School, students could purchase “What’s Your 17” t-shirts for five dollars each; the money raised was donated to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Kane took a different approach. Although BFA has honored the 17 people who passed away, Kane wanted to use this movement to continue spreading positivity throughout the school for many years to come.

Kane began this movement in the 2017-2018 school year. However, she and other people involved in the movement have been making improvements for the 2018-2019 school year.

“We’ve put up several murals with positive messages, the parking passes, we hung up positive messages in every single locker to start the school year, we gave out bags with positive messages to every single staff member before the year started. I think that’s it so far,” Kane said.

The idea of awarding parking tickets surfaced to provide students who exhibit good behavior with a reward for their efforts.

“We were just trying to think of something that would be a good incentive and reward for kids that were, you know, doing the right things and being kind to their classmates and helping each other out and helping out the school. We thought ‘what would a kid want more than anything at BFA?’ The big thing is that people complain about is parking,” Kane said.

Faculty members can give out “What’s Your 17 BFA” raffle tickets by filling out a ticket appreciating an act that a student has done. Kane explained some examples of acts students have participated in.

“Some things that we’ve heard so far are: students helping other students, volunteering to help teacher out. I think Mrs. Rico gave one out for a kid helping her carry out some stuff to her car, even though the kid didn’t even know her, it wasn’t even her student. One girl helped a classmate who had fainted, or was going to faint… mostly it’s helping out a classmate or helping out a teacher,” Kane said.

So far, 12 students have won this pass for on-campus parking. The students received the passes for two weeks at a time, and the parking spots were in the back parking lot near the gym.

“The list is: Taylor Martell, Tyler Laroche, Sydney Hatch, Kelly Laggis, Chanse Baker, McKenna Remillard, Emma Menard, Leah Branon, Jaime Benham, and Peyton Dukas,” Kane said.

According to the Daily Announcements released by Judy Turner on Jan. 3, 2019, “The winners of the #whatsyour17BFA parking raffle are Will Stoll and Hannah Adams.”

Taylor Martell, the first winner of the parking pass, shared her opinions on the raffle.

“I think the parking passes are awesome rewards for students, because it encourages good behavior. I think that this is helping the What’s Your 17 BFA movement grow and become more well known,” Martell said.

Martell also shared how she received the raffle ticket.

“I received a raffle ticket from Mr. Berthiaume. I am a student assistant in his Algebra I class through the work experience program. I earned it by reaching out and connecting with the freshmen in the class,” Martell said.

Martell explained that it was nice to know where she was going to park in the two weeks she had the parking pass. She also mentioned that it was nice not to have to get to school as early as when she has to find a parking spot.

Although the main reward of this raffle is a parking pass, there are other rewards for those students who don’t drive.

“And they’re not just parking passes, so if a student is pulled from the bucket, and they don’t drive to school, or say they take the bus, there are other prizes as well. There are some coupons for the Abbey, two weeks of coupons they can use in the cafeteria. We have some sweatshirts and everybody gets a “What’s Your 17″ bag too,” Kane said.

Emma Menard, another winner of the “What’s Your 17 BFA” raffle, spoke on what she used the parking pass for.

I kept the pass but because I don’t drive, so I gave it to a friend who does,” Menard said.

Menard’s actions not only prove that she was worthy of the award, but also that her act of kindness being recognized helped her spread even more positivity.

“I think that having the parking pass is a good way to recognize students for their good deeds and encourage random acts of kindness,” Menard said.

Menard’s actions truly showcase the spirit of “What’s Your 17 BFA”, and provide an example of community within Bellows Free Academy.

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