VALDOSTA -- S.L. Mason Elementary School kicked off a new plan for student behavior improvement recently called Power of Positive Students, or POPS. The initiative is designed to encourage the students to exhibit self-motivated behavior and respect.

During the school year, students will have the opportunity to earn points to attend exciting monthly POPS events, featuring visits from "POP"-A-Paws. His motto for the month carries through the well-planned activities such as August's slogan, "POP"-A-Paws says, "Let's Soar Into a Bright School Year."

During the kickoff event, students and staff wore sunglasses and attended a pep rally.

On hand were members of the Valdosta High School football team who made a play for the new school year, as well as the VHS cheerleaders. Valdosta State University members of Sigma Gamma Rho performed an original step show promoting success in school.

Programs planned throughout the year include "Mind Your Manners," "Soaring With Smiles," "Rope Up Some Honesty," "Hats Off to Fairness," and "Hip Hip Hooray For the USA."

Michael Douglas, a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, was invited to help kick-off the POPS program and to speak to the students.

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