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Elementary kids learn from high-schoolers

November 25, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Kids learn from kids. When a high school is next to an elementary school, something good can happen, and it did Tuesday.

When the fire drill bell rang out at Widmyer Elementary School, the 400 students in grades kindergarten through two and their teachers walked to Berkeley Springs High School to attend a planned program.

Morgan County Partnership Project Director Susan Caperton said Widmyer Principal Dan Reynolds came up with the idea to do something during the fire drill and he contacted Megan Hauser, community educator for the Partnership.

Hauser worked with Assistant Principal Lance Fox and a plan grew with the help of high school students involved with Rachel's Challenge, a program that promotes positive relationships, and the anti-tobacco group RAZE.

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The kindergartners were ushered into the gym, the first-graders went to the auditorium and the second-graders were across the hall in the all-purpose room.

Three programs were performed in 10-minute segments by Berkeley Springs High School students and teachers.

The students with the Rachel's Challenge group performed a skit about the importance of literacy.

High school sophomore Jenny Burdock, 15, wrote a "Three Little Pigs" skit that focused on the value of learning how to read.

"We are trying to be good role models for the younger kids," Burdock said. "It was a lot of fun. We had a good time with them."

"Kids look up to kids," Morgan County Schools Superintendent David Banks said.

The anti-smoking group RAZE performed a skit with school counselor Randy Lucas, who played the role of cigarette-smoking "Joe Cool."

Prevention Resource Officer Kevin Barney of the Morgan County Sheriff's Department spoke about kids bullying kids.

Barney and Assistant Principal Krystal Curtis demonstrated what bullying looks like.

"Never confront the bully," Barney said.

He told the elementary school students to talk to their teachers or to their best friends, and then "both of you can tell the teacher."

"Our kids need to be taught how to deal with bullies. Sometimes they don't know," Banks said. "They should go to a teacher or another adult they trust."

Pete Gordon, head of the math department at the high school, rounded out the program by entertaining the students with singalong songs.

"It was a great success," Reynolds said after the program. "It was awesome. We will do it again in the spring."

 

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