FARMINGTON, Maine — Everything is about fun in Mad Louie’s world.
Louis Moniz Jr. of Benton, better known to students in grades K-6 around Maine as Mad Louie, helped reinforce the start of a Positive Behavior Intervention Support program at Cascade Brook School on Friday.
The obesity awareness health instructor, who has led children in exercise, dance and games for eight years in Rhode Island and five in Maine, shared five important words with fourth- and fifth-graders before leading them through a short musical exercise routine early Friday morning.
Manners and courtesy are parts of respect for self and others, along with pride, he told the students. Adhering to expectations makes school, recess, sports, everything fun, he said.
“Things (behaviors) are requested of you in life that you may not like and that’s OK, but you still need to adhere to what’s requested of you in a positive way,” Moniz said.
PBIS is a national program consisting of an educational and a behavioral component, school Principal Nichole Goodspeed said. Cascade Brook began the behavioral component with the start of school this week.
All students received instructions Thursday on what behaviors are expected of them in different parts of the school. Mad Louie, a popular and familiar figure in Regional School Unit 9 who teaches exercise classes locally, came to help start the program, which will feature activities throughout the year, Goodspeed said.
“It’s more positive than punitive,” she said of the effort to catch behaviors and lend support for correction of those “before it’s too late.”
Schools across the nation are becoming involved in the program that can take from three to seven years. Last year the school started the educational component with math classes and this year there’s a focus on language arts, she said.
Whether it’s in the cafeteria, the bus line or on the playground, Mad Louie encouraged the boys and girls to remember the words respect, pride, manners, courtesy and fun. Also, he advised them to work hard, work safe and work fair.
The entire school then lined up across the floor to jump, shuffle and bend along with the music.
Mad Louie ended his visit after everyone had returned to their classes with an announcement over the school’s loudspeaker where he and then Goodspeed told the students how well they did and how proud they were of each of them.