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White River School District Strives to Build a Healthy School

The White River School District’s efforts to build a healthy school were recently recognized by Marilyn Forst, Building Healthy Schools Project Coordinator for Coordinated School Health in the SD Departments of Education and Health. Marilyn provides training, technical assistance and resources to White River and 5 other school districts who are a part of Coordinated School Health’s Building Healthy School project.

The White River school district is very fortunate to have a strong coalition developed between its school health council and the Michael Glynn Memorial Coalition. (MGM Coalition).

The MGM Coalition was established after a tragic accident of high school student Michael Glynn, the day following his graduation. Michael’s mother, Joyce Glynn, is a remarkable lady who has dedicated herself to safety and wellness of others, especially youth. Joyce serves on the White River School Health Council (WRSHC) while keeping alive the memory of her precious son through the MGM Coalition. The WRSHC is chaired by school nurse Kendra Earll.

The WRSHC has several events and activities planned for the month of October that support Substance Abuse Prevention and Red Ribbon Week. A “kick-off” event is Prevention Day for high school students. Scheduled sessions include Tobacco-Use Prevention, Drug and Alcohol Prevention, Suicide Prevention, Impaired Driving Prevention, Energy Drinks Awareness, and Teen Dating Violence Prevention. During Red Ribbon Week, all staff will be presented with Red Ribbon pins and students will be involved in contests, making Red Ribbon Pledge Walls, dressing in thematic clothes, and receiving prevention education and incentives. A video clip of the month’s activities will be shared with school staff by students.

It doesn’t stop there! October continues with students showing appreciation and recognition to the School Board, Tribal Council, City Council, County Commissioners and Law Enforcement Officers for supporting efforts to educate students about at-risk behaviors, prevention and keeping the community safe.

The majority of White River staff has been trained in Olweus, an evidence-based bullying prevention program. Coordinated School Health funds will assist with purchasing curriculum materials this year.

The positive results of last year’s “Tell It To Me Straight” parent event, is influencing WRSHC members to schedule another Tell It To Me Straight event and, possibly, hosting a “Reality Party”.

A bigger and stronger TATU (Students Against Tobacco Use) is hoped for as students will attend TATU Training in November. SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) students will attend training in October.

Should you be interested in knowing more about the White River School District’s projects, events, the coalition and successes, contact Kendra Earll at Kendra.earll@k12.sd.us or (605) 259-3135. Marilyn Forst is available, upon request, to provide training, technical assistance and resources to all school districts in ESA 3 and ESA 6. Contact Marilyn at Marilyn.forst@k12.sd.us or (605) 995-8997.
Oct. 2012
Success Stories