Wednesday, April 15, 2009

EM Bucks

When I was filling Easter baskets on Saturday night, CrazyMom had some “EM Bucks” from Ed and Miss Bookworm to put in each basket. I was aware that these things existed and knew a little bit about the program, but I decided to sit Ed down and interview her about the EM Bucks to find out more. Here is what she said.

What are EM Bucks?

If Miss Bookworm or I see somebody doing something kind, then we write down what they did on an EM Buck and then put it under their pillow. Then they will find it when they go to bed or when they get up. They can use these EM bucks to buy things at our store. Oh yeah, we also give out EM Bucks when someone reaches a goal they have.

What does EM stand for?

E is for Ed, and the M is for Miss Bookworm.

Where did the idea of EM bucks come from?

I had a dream that I had a store that I ran that everybody loved. I decided to include Miss Bookworm to help me with the store since she probably would not be interested in buying any of the stuff anyway.

What types of kind things have you found people doing?

The other day I was joking with F.G. and asked her to move all of the chairs so I could sweep the floor. She actually did it even though it was my chore and so I gave her a buck. When we were dying Easter eggs, LittleFoot dropped and broke his last egg and was sad. F.G. gave him her last egg to make him happy. One time K.D. pulled out a chair for a friend’s mom that was visiting. The other day Anna and LittleFoot had to set the table and Anna said she would do it all so LittleFoot could go and play. Also, at Easter we put a buck in everybody’s basket to help celebrate. One time Buddy saw the milk was empty and so he went down to get more milk from the downstairs fridge without anybody asking him to. Buddy also reached his goal of getting to level 3 in his Mad Minutes at school and he got a buck for that. Then there was the time that Mom had some old leftover Girl Scout cookies and homemade chocolate chip cookies. LittleFoot let someone else have the homemade cookies and he ate the old Girl Scout cookies. Also, Anna would get up in the morning and spend an hour eating breakfast. Mom is always telling her to hurry up and one day she ate in 20 mins and then went and made her bed.

What type of things do you have for sale?

We have a Bop-It for $17 EM Bucks. We also have a whole bucket of 1 EM Buck items with bracelets, McDonald’s toys, or cereal box toys. There is a package of beads that sells for 4 EM Bucks and seven mini smell pens at 1 buck each. There are some other things as well.

How often is the store open?

It is not set. If we know that we have been handing out bucks and people have several bucks, then we will open the store. But we make sure everybody has three or four bucks so nobody is left out. Anna gets to go first since she takes so long.

How have the other kids responded to this program?

When we first told them they were all excited and wanted to know what was in the store, which we did not tell them. Whenever F.G. gets a buck she always says, “Hey Miss Bookworm and Ed, look! I got a buck!” When we had the first store and I was helping Anna spend her 3 or 4 bucks, Miss Bookworm had to hold the other kids back until she was done. Then they spent a half hour looking over everything in the store and trying to decide what to buy. They also like to share with everyone else the bucks they get and what they did to get them.

Do you think this program has had an impact on the behaviors in our home?

Umm, well, I wasn’t really paying attention to what nice things people were doing before, but now I notice it more. I sometimes see people doing nice things when I am around to try to get a buck.

How long do you think you will continue to do hand out bucks?

I have no idea. Probably until either Miss Bookworm and I have to go to school and so we aren’t around to see what is going on as much or if the younger kids get too old and don’t want what is in the store anymore.

Thank you Ed for taking the time to share about the EM Buck program.


Sharla said...

very neat idea. Thanks for sharing!

sandwichinwi said...

What a great idea! It's so neat that it comes from your girls and not the parents. What kind and thoughtful kids you have (not just Ed and MB, but the kids earning bucks, too)

Here's another idea for something to sell in your store: how about coupons for services like "Ed will do one chore for you" or see if Mom and Dad will donate time ie: "Lunch with Mom" or "30 min. alone with Dad" (I know you all do this kind of thing already as a family, but sometimes it's fun to get an extra tidbit)

Thanks for sharing!