The Mighty Morphin Power Designers of William C. Longstreth School were quick to spot an opportunity to make a difference in their school last year. It all started when they noticed students had a hard time keeping track of the reward “money” earned through the school’s new PBIS (positive behavior interventions and supports) program. After investing four months of time in research, prototyping, and testing different ideas, the team developed a concept called the R&B Bank, a student-run bank for storing and tracking Scholar Dollars. With a big assist from designer Peter Fleming, a DT Philly volunteer who visited the team, the banking system even went digital, with online accounts that teachers and students can access from their phones!
The team presented their impressive and thoughtful project at the DT Philly Showcase in January, and then promptly set about making their vision a reality. The team’s teacher, Mr. Rocco, posted the project on Donors Choose and quickly raised the $382 needed to equip the team to operate the bank. In the words of one donor, “I live in West Philly, know a little bit about Longstreth, and work in the compliance department of a Bank so I was quickly drawn to this project. The initiative shown by your students is really impressive! It’s a privilege being able to support this.”
In no time at all, the students were receiving deposits, cancelling rewards that had been redeemed, and managing the Friday withdrawals. We could not agree more with Mr. Rocco’s succinct summary of what happened: “This project really blossomed.” Best of all, the 8th grade team members trained 6th and 7th grade students to take over the bank, so their legacy can continue to benefit the school in years to come. Congratulations on your impactful design project!