The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 19, 2008

Challenge Days at CCHS try to resolve students’ issues

Carlisle senior Blair Robinson of the Student Advisory Council told the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) on December 9 that 80 students and 30 facilitators participated in the Challenge Days at CCHS in early December. She thanked all the adults for volunteering.

Challenge Days are part of the “Be the Change” Program. The program focuses on confronting and resolving students’ issues based upon discrimination, prejudice, stress, violence, drugs and alcohol. Robinson said this was the first year that all students who applied got into the program.

“It’s such a long, emotional day,” said RSC Chair Jerry Wedge. He asked about the available support for those who participated. Robinson explained that the day after the program ended was a professional development day for teachers, so students had the day off. There was a brunch on that day that some 50 students attended. They discussed their Challenge Day experiences and talked about follow-up activities to keep the positive momentum going. Also, guidance counselors were there for students who needed or wanted more support.

When asked about the impact of the program, junior Marree Budris, also on the Student Advisory Council, told the RSC, “There’s not a huge amount of change. People make an effort to be kinder…It is beneficial…The vast majority [of participants] have a positive feeling about [the program].”

Wedge said some people had concerns about techniques used by the program. Budris replied that she hadn’t heard of any problems. Robinson said, “You only share what you feel comfortable to share. There is no pressure to share.” RSC member Pamela Gannon suggested that some information about the program get distributed to parents so when students come home from such an emotional day, the parents will be informed and can be supportive.∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito