Laura Bush’s new campaign to divert youths from violence focused yesterday on a “good behavior game” in a Baltimore elementary school. As reported by the Baltimore Sun, the game involves pupils’ motivating their teammates to follow class rules and being rewarded with small prizes. The first lady spoke about the importance of helping children develop good behavior at an early age and praised the school’s program to curb aggressive behavior and increase academic achievement. “This model is simple and inexpensive, and it can work for students in schools across our country,” Bush said.
Sheppard Kellam, a researcher who has studied the “good behavior game” in a dozen city schools for 20 years, said he hoped the event would spur others to adopt the program. “She’s a perfect ambassador because she’s respected as an educator and can carry the message,” said Kellam, of the American Institutes for Research, a nonprofit research organization in Washington.