The 2015 Positive Choices Youth Conference took place Oct.13 in the Longfellow Gymnasium. Conference speaker was Rusty May, school counselor, violence prevention specialist, and founder of the Bullying and School Safety Foundation.
By Sherry Vogel
He has also developed School Tools TV.Com (STTV). STTV is a daily one minute social skills webcast that’s being watched by over 20,000 students in over 800 classrooms in the U.S. and Canada. He led a lively discussion intended to help teachers as well as students achieve positive results in the classroom.
Speaker May teaches education is first and foremost about relationships: the relationship between the teacher and student; between the student and peers; and between the student and the material. A short synopsis of the conference can best be summarized by May himself, “If students don’t believe it’s more about them than about their test score, they won’t reach
their full academic potential and can become a major distraction… This isn’t about bad kids, it’s about bad habits.” May believes poor social skills are learned behaviors which can be unlearned. He shared, “It’s in the teaching, modeling, and reinforcing of basic skills a few minutes a day that real progress can be made which will lift the entire class and increase time.”
Approximately 550 students K-12 were in attendance. They came from the following towns: Baker, Ekalaka, Plevna, Marmarth, and Wibaux. The students received T-shirts to remind them to make positive choices. A special adult session was held that evening in the Longfellow Gym.
Fallon/Carter Extension Office stated, “As long as we make a difference in one child’s life, Positive Choices is worth it. Positive Choices is an investment in your child’s future.”