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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Lions expanding their ‘vision’ for students
Local clubs have provided training, materials for Lions Quest
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Courtesy Photo: Elaine Arbogast is the guidance counselor at Lee M Waid Elementary School and a certified instructor for Lions Quest for grades K-5.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer

For many years, local Lions clubs have provided free vision screening to county students. Now, the clubs are expanding their assistance to local schools.

Four local Lions clubs are now helping guidance counselors in Franklin and Bedford county elementary schools enhance the academic, social and emotional development of students.

The Rocky Mount, Ferrum, Moneta and Smith Mountain Lake Lions clubs have provided counselors with training and materials for Lions Quest, a life skills and prevention program of the Lions Clubs International Foundation.

"With the loss of the DARE program, we thought it was the perfect time to start Lions Quest," said Rocky Mount Lion Roger Seale. "The program incorporates drug awareness, but it's much more comprehensive."

In grades K-5, students learn to accept responsibility, communicate effectively, set goals, make healthy decisions and resist pressure to use alcohol or drugs.

The goal of the program is to bring school, community and family together to promote the development of healthy, responsible young people by supporting social and emotional learning, character development, positive behavior and commitment to service, according to program materials.

Lions Quest consists of comprehensive lessons that are implemented by classroom educators. The program is being taught as a stand-alone course, but it can be integrated into existing subject areas.

"And the curriculum matches up nicely with the SOLs," Seale said.

In June, 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 guidance counselors who participated in the workshop were required to complete the Lions Quest staff development training in order to teach the life skills curricula.

Each of the participating Lions clubs provides a liaison to the schools to determine each school's needs and provide additional assistance with the program, Seale said. The contact members from each club are Peggy Smith with the Ferrum Lions Club, Lowell Skelton and Kirk Sampson with the Smith Mountain Lake Lions Club, Seale with the Rocky Mount Lions Club, and Gloria Guice with the Moneta Lions Club.

The Rocky Mount Lions Club is hosting a concert on Dec. 1 in the Franklin County High School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. to raise money for more program resources, Seale said. The concert will feature Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out. Moore is the 2012 International Bluegrass Music Association's Male Vocalist of the Year. Tickets are $15.

Eventually, the Lions clubs hope to expand the Lions Quest program into the middle schools and high schools in Franklin and Bedford counties.

The Lions Quest program has been implemented in 65 countries throughout the world, according to the Lions Clubs International Foundation.

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