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To all schools- Cut the trophies from your ceremonies. Answered

So yesterday I had a graduation ceremony at school.  The school basically gave awards/trophies/certificates to people who made good grades, did well in Accelerated reader, and performed well in class.  I personally got 2 awards, a certificate for making the A/B honor roll, and some fake $1,000,000 dollar bill that looks like it was straight out of Monopoly for reading over 1,000,000 words in the Accelerated Reader program.  I promptly turned my certificate into a paper airplane and threw it in a corner where it will be forgotten until the end of time, and I wrote "OVER 9000!!!" on the fake bill.

Most people won't realize that these certificates won't be worth wiping butt with a year from now.  Nobody will care what you made in Junior High in your final year of High school.  Heck, the only highlight of the ceremony was that I was friends with the person who got the biggest trophy, and he let me borrow it for a few seconds, at that point I pretended it was a really really huge... I'll leave it to you to figure it out.

Anyways, I don't know why schools dump money into trophies made of fake plastic and (maybe) fake marble decorated up to look fancy.  Here's an idea for these schools- Instead of spending money on trophies that will just sit and gather dust, and are really a pain to carry home, they should give the students cash money equal to the value of the trophies that they would have received.  It certainly would give students an incentive to do well in school, since the amount of money they would receive would directly correlate with their performance in class and the number of awards they would get.

Tell me what you think of that idea in the comments. Thanks.


Last year I receved a number of awards including:
about 6 certificates for being top in my subjects
annother certificate for being the best in my year at level 1 maths (look up the ncea system if you want to know about that) this came with $20.
And a trophy for all around acedemic excellence, it came with $50, it is made of metal and has my name incribed on it, it is at least 50 years old.

it can be seen in my 2010 logic bow video, skip to 1:58 or so, you don't want to hear me blathering on about an obsolete gun.

My point is the disposable plastic trophies are nice, but they don't mean as much as a "real" trophy, also it's nice when they stick a bit of cash with the awards as well XD.

Why do you keep telling us about this "holy" l-bow, but you show no pictures?  Just post some pics!

I can't. the charging cable for my camera has gone missing so therefore I cannot take pictures as the camera has no power.

Why do I feel like this was just a plug for your logic bow behind a facade of facts?

"skip to 1:58 or so, you don't want to hear me blathering on about an obsolete gun."

and seeing as I can neither find the charger for my camera or post pictures in comments this was the only way that I could show proof.

He built a newer one, maybe this is just an ad for it.  Did you see my comment below?

Well i largly agree with Kiteman.

I'm becoming a teacher and they learned us that this increases motivation for students to do good and get rewarded for such.

Why so many trophies then? Well you get alot of grades alot of classes and the school can't say "math" is better then "music" cause the end terms (directly translated from dutch) meaning the things you must know and can before the end of your career here at school make all classes equal. So a child that does well in music should be equally rewarded then a child that does well in math.

Now why no money? first of all no school would allow it. Secondly they buy those things in bulk so the monetary value of what you should be getting is peanuts. "Hey kid here's your 5.95 for being the best in math!". Now I would like to have a trophy over 5.95. And sure you won't use it anymore but you'll put that away somewhere and when you're moving or cleaning up it will be a great memory.

So enjoy it while you can.

Be careful here. If someone says "this increases motivation for students to do good" this can lead to schools finding ways to give prizes because they think that.
The value of a reward is:
Inversely proportional to the number awarded
Directly proportional to the number of persons eligible for it
Subject to it's intrinsic value.

If DJ means "a lot" as I think he does, this reads like giving loads of gongs to satisfy "this increases motivation for students to do good"

(The cash could be spent on something educational, or permanent trophies with multiple engravings)


We have the latter.

The trophies were all paid for by local businesses (a couple by individuals, and one is a memorial to a pupil who died aged 11), and some come with (modest) cash or voucher prizes from those sponsors, but the trophies spend most of the year in a cabinet (the recipients get them in July, keep them on their mantelpieces over the Summer, and return them to school in September).

We are currently looking for a key-note speaker for the next ceremony - does anybody know anybody both famous and successful, able to speak in East Anglia?

We've had Rex Garrod, a couple of local TV celebs, a businessman and an Olympic medallist nobody had heard of except the chap that contacted them - any other ideas?

I think the longer-lived trophies better.

Delia Smith? (probably wouldn't get out of bed for less than £5K...)
Bernard Matthews (surely-not)
Alan Partridge (see Delia)
Dickens (dead - actor dressed-as Dickens...no)

How about someone from the RAF?


I've suggested one of the land forces (we seem to have more army families in the area than air-force), but I know that nobody has read the email yet (since I only sent it a few minutes ago...)

I can see where you are coming from, but what I think is that a future employer won't really care about the "all A student" award you got in the sixth grade, and he probably won't care about it's sentinel value to you.  Heck, it might even mar your pride in getting the accomplishment.

I guess it's just personal preference.

How many of these were handed out?


See I think what you're saying is: "They give out so many of these cheap trophies, it amounts to a self-congratulatory display of tokenism. The awards are devalued by being numerous and of no material value."
Mind, you'd only get some loose-change instead...


 When I was younger, I strived to earn these awards.  It really depends on your attitude.

Some people find pride and value in their accomplishments, and the certificate/trophy is a physical reminder of their hard work and determination.

Some people just don't give a (censored).

You shouldn't get rid of them because you don't like them.  Because others would miss out on something they find important.

I've certainly been in both positions, but I just shut up and let the people who like the awards have their moment.

Personally, I don't think you deserved the rewards.  Your disrespect towards those who recognised your achievements is appalling.

What are you going to do when you graduate from university?  Hand back the scroll and demand a cheque instead?

Get over yourself, grow up.

We have an annual Achievement Awards ceremony.  We award trophies to children who have worked hard and earned top scores in various subjects.

We also reward those who have worked hard to improve themselves, or helped the school community.

Those rewards are valued.  Children are rendered speechless, parents cry tears of pride.

The trophies and certificates are valued by recipients, treasured by families.

You want cash rewards, then get a job.

Just remember not to screw up your pay cheque and throw it at your employer.

People get rewards for working hard in school, and making the grade.  What I was thinking of was replacing trophies and stuff with something people would appreciate more, like cash.  Did you not see my point that this would encourage people to do better in school?  

PS- we have a little thing called "child labor laws" so I can't get a job for another 3 or 4 years lol.

With the economy like this, not a lot of kids down here can get a decent amount of cash from allowance and stuff (unless you happen to be a football player or cheerleader, in which case your parents are really rich), so it would be nice to give kids cash for doing well in school, so they can pick their own reward.

You're 14 (allegedly).  Get a newspaper route.  Get a Saturday job.  Mow lawns.

I meant long-term, though.

How much cash incentive would you want for a full year's work?  $100?  That's 30¢ a day, five or six cents an hour.

In the long term, a certificate that proves you work hard for the sake of your own betterment is something you can include in a resume, discuss in an interview.

In the long term, that certificate you threw away, the only piece of paper you have that the other guy being interviewed doesn't, could have been the key to getting the your dream job.

You have a point, but that's stuff like High school/college diplomas, not some paper that says you got the Honor roll in middle school.  I've personally have adults tell me that the people who interview you at a job look at high school and college transcripts, nothing farther back.

Stuff and nonsense; it's very important to be the First Grade Valedictorian. 

Funny you should mention that- I actually was one.


That and 2 bucks will get ya a cup of coffee... :P

Because this is America and everyone is a WINNER!!!!

Every freaking grade level has a "you're all so special" graduation ceremony these days.

I think kids would appreciate it more if schools gave people the cash instead of a trophy.

As a tax payer, I'd appreciate it if they didn't waste the money at all.

Well if they did something like this, your kids would get some of the money back... But anyways, you do have a legit point.

.  "Everybody's A Winner" is great in grade school and the Special Olympics, but if one hasn't learned that Life is results-based by the time they graduate HS, I hold little hope for them.

You could always Pawn it ;-)
Any ways, wouldn't it be better if the school at least asked if you wanted a trophy  (As in, "Would you like a certificate, or will you just throw it out?"). Also, I'm not sure if a school can legally give a student money. I could be wrong, so don't quote me on that.

Some schools have already tried this exact thing, so it's legal at least in some places.

How about if the schools just keep the money and use it to help fund art and music programs? Or books for the library? Or maybe teacher's salaries?

They can still have the ceremonies if they want to, just hand out paper certificates or even just a pat on the back and a round of applause. Kids crave recognition, but it doesn't have to be in the form of tchotckes.

The music and art programs are well funded here.  The library here has ordered almost a thousand new books this school year alone I think.  I don't know about teacher salaries.

They already give out paper certificates...

I don't think the schools should waste money on this trash, but in america, as tool using amimal said, everyone has to be a winner.  If you only give trophies to the A students, everyone else feels bad, and parents get mad at the school.  They just make all of the stupid awards like most on time person and sh-t like that so everyone gets at least one award, and no one is left out.

Actually there were quite a handful of people who didn't really get anything at my ceremony.  Here hard work does get rewarded, but I find ceremonies like this rather empty.

Still, if you think you have to be recognized for everything, and then you get into the real world, life will be mighty frustrating, and you will have it rough.