DEXTER - Playing Bingo in high school? Trying to keep balloons afloat? Stringing paper circles on yarn? You call that learning? Well, students at Dexter Regional High School were learning through those methods as they participated in the Advisory Program's biennial Teen Issues Fair last Wednesday afternoon and having fun at the same time. The paper circles represented things that made a student angry. The balloons represented people with substance abuse problems that others were trying to “support” unsuccessfully, and the Bingo – it was all about the factors involved in keeping relationships healthy.
The Fair gives students in all grades a chance to choose and learn about three non-academic topics of particular interest to them. Sessions included Healthy Relationships Bingo, Substance Abuse, Grief and Loss, Teen Wellness, College 101, Anger Management, Effective Study Habits, Teen Pregnancy, Anxiety and Depression, and many more.
All students also went to a session on conflict resolution presented by last summer's participants in Maine's Seeds of Peace camp.
Evaluations from students were overwhelmingly positive and included comments such as: “I learned a lot about some things that I didn't know but I should” and “I thought it was really cool to talk with people about things and I think that they should come back.” Presenter evaluations were equally positive, feeling that the vast majority of students were “engaged, appropriate and enthusiastic – Great kids!”
Dexter Regional High School is very grateful to the presenters who came from the University of Maine, Penquis CAP, Sylvain Learning Center, Rape Response Services, WomanCare, Maine Transition Network, Day One, and SAD #46. As one student said, “The whole thing was amazing!”
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