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Students moved by Red Ribbon presentation

Choices are something that we all have to make; some of those choices are wise ones, while others may come back to haunt us. The choices we make in life not only affect us, but they often affect others. This was a lesson that students from Grand Valley High School and L.W. St John Middle School in Parachute learned recently during a presentation called “The Unstoppable You.”The presentation coincided with the kickoff of Red Ribbon Week, which is a national drug abuse awareness and prevention week sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Craig Conrad, a teacher from Moffat County, is a motivational speaker who has taken his program to schools throughout Colorado and Wyoming. Conrad told students that it was up to them to live up to their full potential, to fill their cups to the brim and to not be happy with just a partially filled cup. Students listened attentively as Conrad related stories about students who filled their cups and students who didn’t live up to their full potential because of the choices they made.Conrad told the story of a former student of his that had everything going for him and how one bad choice changed his life and the life of eight others. That student, Clinton Haskins, now sits in a Wyoming Penitentiary doing time for killing eight University of Wyoming cross country runners. It was Sept. 16, 2001, when Haskins made the decision to drink and drive, and changed his life forever after his 1-ton pickup truck collided with a Jeep Wrangler.Haskins was able to speak to students directly via the phone as he told them to not take that first drink, to not let their peers influence them into doing something that they might not do otherwise. He encouraged them to not separate themselves too much from him. That seven years ago he was sitting right where they are now with the future out in front of him. His future now consists of 14-20 years behind bars.Grand Valley High School Counselor Anna Whitmore was pleased with how the students responded to the presentation. “I hope that students understand that they can and should make wise choices in their lives, because every choice counts. Craig told great stories about students who are amazing in their own right, as are each of our students. They are all meant to be amazing, and they need to find it within in themselves to become so.”The presentation had an impact on students as most could talk of nothing else for the remainder of the day. “The assembly was very inspirational. He talked about many sad along with some happy stories that taught us about the affects of drugs and alcohol. Things that you may not remember doing when you’re under the affects of drugs and alcohol may turn into things that you will regret for the rest of your life,” said SMS student Tiffany Waugh. Chad Parker stated that the presentation was “sad, motivating with disturbing stories.”BUE Food DriveThe Bea Underwood Elementary School Peer P.A.L.S. hosted their eighth annual food drive recently. The drive was held in conjunction with Make A Difference Day and Red Ribbon Week. Every year the Peer P.A.L.S. takes on the task of organizing a food drive for LIFT-UP. During a one-week span in October, students in all grade levels brought in food items in a friendly competition between classrooms. The class bringing in the most items got to help with the delivery of the food to LIFT-UP. The fourth-grade class of Jennifer Thompson collected the most food items and won the privilege of delivering the 2000 plus items to LIFT-UP. Thompsons class collected 286 items. “LIFT-UP provides a valuable service to our community. It is a rewarding experience for our children to give back to their community. The food drive is one way for us to show our support,” said Peer P.A.L.S. sponsor Deb Cain.The food drive isn’t the only activity in which the the Peer P.A.L.S. are involved. They are active throughout the school year helping in many areas. Students who wish to become one of the Peer P.A.L.S. must complete a 12-hour training program. Their work can be seen throughout the halls of Bea Underwood. They help mediate disagreements between their peers, tutor fellow students, help in the library and manage the playground equipment, to name just a few. “It’s a privilege for these students to serve as Peer P.A.L.S.,” noted Cain. One only has to spend a few minutes in the halls of Bea Underwood to see the Peer P.A.L.S. impact. Sandy Hanson is the Public Information Director for Garfield County School District No. 16 and can be reached at 285-5701 or shanson@garcoschools.org.


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