Student Recognition and Award Programs Reinforce Achievement

Today’s students are involved in a wide variety of activities in and out of the classroom. They participate in Spelling Bees, athletics, reading contests, clubs, and Science Fairs to name just a few. There are also many classroom opportunities to celebrate success and accomplishment every day.  A simple, budget friendly recognition program can provide the tools needed to encourage achievement and motivate students to perform at their highest level – while still having fun.

Good Job!
Rewarding students for positive contributions and achievements builds self-esteem and confidence. With feelings of confidence come positive behavioral choices immediately apparent to teachers, school administrators, and parents alike. Sometimes a well-timed “excellent!” or “good job!” is all that is needed.  

Opportunities for Recognition
Take every opportunity to celebrate and reward successes – the small ones and the big ones.  Think about using simple recognition awards every day when you are asking your students questions about homework, helping out other students, or participating in class.   Here are some recognition opportunities to consider:

  • Academic excellence – Celebrate specific milestone accomplishments in Reading, Writing, Science, and Math. Students who show extraordinary scholastic achievement deserve recognition along with students who are working hard to improve their grades.
  • Classroom participation – Maintaining a high level of classroom participation can often be a struggle. Simple classroom participation ribbons are a great way to get students excited about participating in class.  If they are participating they are learning!
  • Spelling Bee – The Spelling Bee is a traditional competitive event where there can be many winners.  Consider participant awards for all of those students that participated in the event.  Adding your school identification to any award makes the award important and special.
  • Citizenship – Recognize students with all around good behavior, manners, and respect for others. A most worthy award!
  • Attendance – Good attendance should be rewarded at end of year award ceremonies but also consider using attendance awards more frequently during the school year.  Try a monthly attendance award.
  • Student of the Month – Create your own Student of the Month Award to reward students exceeding your expectations.
  • Leadership – Reward the students that provide leadership for classroom projects and activities.
  • End of the year award ceremonies – All students have unique abilities and interests and it is important that their individual qualities are recognized at end of the year award ceremonies. From an award for “Being on Time All the Time” to “Always Completes their Homework” to the “Mad Scientist” award (most creative with their Science experiments), these rising stars all need a pat on the back.

What Types of Recognitions and Awards Should You Give?
There are many factors to be considered when choosing the right recognition program for your school or classroom, including: What milestones or behaviors do I want to reward?  Do I want my recognition awards customized with school logo and personalized messages? How do I get the most value on a limited budget?

The following is a list of recognition award solutions to help you make the right choice for your program.

  • Ribbons and Ribbon rolls – Kids love ribbonsRibbon rolls are one of the most cost-effective choices teachers and school administrators can make to reward students. A teacher or principal can easily store hundreds of customized ribbons on a single ribbon roll and just cut them off the roll to award students as needed. Ribbons and ribbon rolls are make great on-the-spot awards – economical and easy to use when you want to reward a student immediately in class.  Customized ribbon rolls can be printed with your school logo and your own personal achievement message.
  • Buttons and pinsButtons and pins are another economical way to appreciate students for a job well done. They are also a preferred choice for building school spirit.  Why not hand all students a button customized with the school mascot to display their pride at major athletic events, musical performances, or even to welcome them back to school. Any school sponsored activity can be acknowledged with personalized buttons, giving students who wear them a feeling of belonging and pride.
  • Medals Medals are an exceptional way to recognize a student who has achieved a great milestone or goal. They are typically given at award ceremonies where a student is called upon to take center stage before his peers and be recognized for academic or athletic excellence.
  • Dog tagsDog tags are the hottest trend! Kids love wearing customized dog tags on chains and using them as key chains.  Customized dog tags provide a unique way to recognize students and give them a sense of pride and honor when participating in school activities and athletics. They are a great choice for recognizing individual or team accomplishments.
  • Plaques and trophiesPlaques and trophies are the traditional recognition awards preferred for End of the Year Awards ceremonies. These are awards students will cherish for a lifetime and frequently are displayed on a student’s bedroom shelf or hang on their wall as a constant reminder of their achievements.

Recognition and award programs can have a major impact on academic performance and are easy to implement, especially in K through 4th grade classrooms.  All students have a need to be recognized for jobs well done. Confidence soars, grades improve, school pride escalates, and students are primed for continued success throughout their educational careers.  After all, who couldn’t use a little recognition for a job well done every now and then?

Getting Ready for Field Day

It’s about the time of year when students look forward to a very special day– Field Day!  If you haven’t yet planned for your Field Day awards or takeaways, don’t worry.  We’ve compiled a list of suggestions that should fit the bill.

The “Focus, Fun, Finish” Field Day ribbon, our Field Day Ribbon Roll, and our Field Day Award Ribbon are all Quick Ship items, which means they ship in 24 hours when you call in your order, and in 72 hours when you order online.

The 100 yard Field Day Ribbon Roll gives you six hundred 2″ x 6″ ribbons, which equals out to cost less than 10 cents per ribbon.  Of course, custom ribbon rolls are also a popular choice.

Many schools also choose our Star or Torch Award Ribbons which come in first through sixth place, and also have a Participant award.

Need to advertise your event?  Our new lower-priced banners will hold up outdoors and help you get the word out.

Lastly, we hope everyone (students and teachers alike) enjoys their special day.  Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Hodges Hits the Road

Just wanted to write a quick post to let you know about two trade shows we’ll be attending in the next few weeks.  This weekend (3/26-3/28), we’ll be in San Francisco meeting with education professionals at the ASCD Annual Conference & Exhibit Show.  Two weeks later (4/8-4/9), we’ll be attending the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) 90th Annual Convention & Expo in Tampa, Florida.

Know a teacher, principal or other administrator who’s attending?   We love to meet friendly faces of both new and current customers. Tell them to stop by for free samples of our scholastic awards and a chance to win a Hodges Badge Company gift certificate.

Use Ribbons and Medals to Help Motivate Students

Awards help motivate children to learn

Awards help motivate children to learn

How can you use inexpensive ribbons and medals to help motivate your students?  I am going to give you a few ideas, but you should know that they just scratch the surface of what is possible. 


Just because an award is simple and inexpensive does not mean that it is not effective.  Sometimes it’s the little gestures in life that make you want to strive for excellence.  Memorizing facts for a good grade isn’t always appealing to students.  Immediate and tangible rewards can make reaching their goal more enjoyable.  Receiving a ribbon for the spelling bee can be exciting!  Giving a ribbon just for effort can let your students know how proud you are and raise their self-confidence!  For just a little more than the cost of a pencil or pen, teachers can reward the efforts and successes of their students with custom printed ribbons – uniquely designed and themed for a particular event. 


Generally, you’ll see ribbons used for school field days, student of the month, and of course Red Ribbon Week, but why not use them when your student raises their grades after so much work? Or maybe when they have perfect attendance?     Every child is different and has their own special abilities that deserve to be praised.  You can design your own ribbons to be as unique as your students or choose from our economical stock awards.  Every week we are surprised to see new examples of creative teachers rewarding students in new and innovative ways.


Common themes for our ribbons include birthdays, scholarship and promotion.  The best product for this is a roll of custom printed ribbons – 600 ribbons cost less than $.11 each.  You store them in a drawer until they are needed, and then just cut off as many as you need on the day you are using them.  Having a roll of ribbon at the ready is convenient and budget friendly.


Medals are another great choice for your shining stars!  We have many popular colors of neck ribbon for your selection.  You could add a little personalization with custom printing on our premium satin neck ribbon to match your medal color for a specific event, or use one of our full color dye sub neck ribbons created by our in-house Art department to add a little jazz. 


Today’s medals aren’t just for athletic events.  We have many medal themes including music, art, photography, and writing.  Imagine the look on the face of the science fair winner or the choir soloist when they get their very own shiny medal!   Sometimes even getting caught “doing good” warrants a special prize.  We have so many designs and finishes available, you’re sure to find the best product for your budget. 

Ordering is as easy as A B C!  Decide on your medal style, select your design, choose your neck ribbon, and then specify if you’d prefer a shiny or more antiqued finish.  From school colors to school mascots, we can help your special student stand out from their peers! The possibilities are endless!