|Program supports positive youth development|
Barbara P. Lancaster, seated, an educational consultant for Lions Clubs International (LCI), recently held a training workshop at the Center for Energy Efficient Design (CEED) for 23 area guidance counselors from Bedford and Franklin counties. Standing, from left, are Lions Peggy Smith, District 24-E Lions Quest chairperson, Joyce Gordon, Gloria Guice, Ralph Long, Kirk Sampson, Lowell Skelton and Roger Seale.
Friday, June 15, 2012
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
Guidance counselors from Franklin and Bedford counties began their quest recently to implement a program in elementary schools that supports positive youth development and school-to-work competencies.
The program is called Lions Quest, a life skills and prevention program of Lions Clubs International Foundation.
Peggy Smith, a member of the Ferrum Lions Club and Lions Quest chairperson for Lions clubs in District 24-E, said 11 guidance counselors from Franklin County elementary schools and 12 from Bedford County participated in the Lions Quest workshop at the Center for Energy Efficient Design (CEED) in Rocky Mount.
The Lions Quest workshop trainer was Barbara Lancaster from Winston-Salem, N.C..
The sponsors of the workshop included Rocky Mount, Ferrum, Moneta and Smith Mountain Lake Lions clubs.
Skills to be taught at the elementary schools in the next school year include learning to accept responsibility, communicating effectively, setting goals, making healthy decisions and resisting pressure to use alcohol or drugs.
The Lions Quest program will be taught to students in grades one through five, Smith said.
The program consists of comprehensive lessons and will be implemented by classroom educators. The program will be taught as a stand-alone course but can be integrated into existing subject areas.
The guidance counselors that participated in the workshop were required to complete the Lions Quest staff development training before they can teach the life skills curricula.
In addition to the training for the educators, Lions Quest provides all curriculum materials.
"We're so excited to get this program into the schools," Smith said. "When we were growing up, much of the life skills were taught in the home. They're not being taught there anymore."
Smith said she hopes eventually the Lions Quest program will also be taught in the middle schools and high schools in this area.
The Lions Quest program has been implemented in 65 countries throughout the world, according to the Lions Clubs International Foundation.