Principal of Waldport Middle and High School, Amy Skirvin, had brought the Challenge Day event to her former middle-high school and knew the power of the message
and wanted the same for Waldport to help the staff and students solidify a positive community. She explains, “This a very inspiring and powerful program to help students realize we are not alone and there is always someone there to support you. Students empathize with their peers and learn to be kind to each other, pick each other up, and help deflate their ‘balloon’.”
During a site council meeting, she mentioned the program and one of the parents looked into
grants and wanted to personally donate to the program if the grant was received. Mrs. Skivin did write and receive the grant from Trust Management Services in the amount of $10,000. Additionally, the parent, DJ Novgrod, paid $5,000, and the Yachats Lions Club donated $1,000. The building budget supported the rest of $3,400 to $5,000 to pay for substitute teachers allowing all the staff and students to benefit from the experience.
Rays Food Place donated bottled water for the students and staff. The presentation was held this week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Co-founders of Challenge Day, Rich and Yvonne were the facilitators for Challenge Day. Many LCSD administrators, Board Chair Amanda Remund, and Dr. Karen Gray, Superintendent, were also participants. All Waldport Middle and High staff, including Sodexo staff, some parents and community members participated in at least one day.
Dr. Gray was very impressed by the presentation and wanted to share the following with all of
Lincoln County, “Today I participated in one of the best examples of anti-bullying pro-social behavior activities I have ever had the pleasure of participating in. Challenge Day at Waldport Middle and High School was nothing short of amazing. Throughout the entire school day, students, teachers, support personnel and administrators worked together developing skills of communication, empathy, civility, and kindness.
Students were able to get to a place where they felt comfortable to discuss their feelings and
their fears such that those around them could lend a loving and sincere heart of understanding and compassion. I was honored to have been in a group with WMHS music teacher Tim Chase, a kind man with a noble heart. I watched as students opened up to him in the most genuine and authentic ways. Relationships between students and staff were built today and kids walked away feeling empowered and hopeful.
Any student that the Challenge Day team felt might need to follow up with to make sure they were doing well and moving forward was mentioned and plans for follow up made. This is a highly regarded program with 32 years of experience in all 50 United States, Canada, and
many other countries. Facilitators Rich and Yvonne are superstars and they are making a significant difference in helping our kids feel better about themselves as well as how to deal with people that bully. Big thanks go to Principal Amy Skirvin and Vice Principal Steve Cooper for bringing Challenge Day to Waldport. It was a day very well spent.”
Information and photo provided by LCSD