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    Tuesday, October 23, 2018-11:08:24P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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WSR school hosts life-skills training camp

WILLIAM S. Reyes Elementary School is conducting a summer camp that focuses on teaching children life-skills that can help prevent them from engaging in behavior that puts them at risk.

About 60 WSR students —  third, fourth and fifth graders — are participating. The facilitators are counselors and teachers who took the eight-hour online Botvin LifeSkills course.

According to WSR principal Naomi Nishimura, the program is funded by a grant from the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the Substance Abuse Prevention Services of the Community Guidance Center.

The program, she added, is coordinated by Achieve, a private, non-profit organization committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and social and emotional wellness.

One of the facilitators, WSR counselor Rebecca J. Flores, said the summer program aims to promote healthy alternatives through activities designed to help the youth resist social pressures to smoke, drink alcohol and use illegal drugs.

The program’s curriculum  includes lessons to develop self-esteem, self-mastery and self-confidence. In addition, the students are taught to cope with social anxiety, and they learn about the immediate and long-term consequences of substance abuse.

William S. Reyes Elementary School counselor Rebecca J. Flores discusses life-skills lessons with fifth graders during the second week of the summer camp program.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. LirioWilliam S. Reyes Elementary School counselor Rebecca J. Flores discusses life-skills lessons with fifth graders during the second week of the summer camp program. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

Moreover, the program enhances their cognitive and behavior competency to reduce and prevent a variety of behaviors that put their health at risk.

Nishimura said this is the first time they have implemented the program for three grade levels.

“We are trying to build a community of students who will stay away from unwanted behavior and from its influence. We are piloting this program in hopes that we can incorporate it in our yearly activities,” Nishimura said, adding that the life-skills summer camp will run for 15 days. It started on June 11.

In the previous school-year, the program was presented to fifth graders. Flores said  29 fifth graders completed the eight sessions of the life-skills curriculum.

“The Botvin LifeSkills Training program is an evidence-based, substance-abuse and violence-prevention program used in schools and communities throughout the U.S. and in 39 countries around the world,” she said. “It has been extensively tested and proven to reduce tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by as much as 80 percent. It is effective when implemented with different delivery formats, when taught by different providers, and when delivered to different populations. It works with elementary school, middle school, and high school students. Long-term, follow-up studies show that it produces prevention effects that are durable and long-lasting.”

Nishimura said the group of students who are participating in the program will be tracked year by year all the way to Hopwood Middle School, WSR’s grant co-recipient. Hopwood has the same program for its students.

“So we will be able to collect data and see where we will be at with this program,” Nishimura said.