Taking strides to create positive change in schools | SierraSun.com

Taking strides to create positive change in schools

Next week, ninth graders from Truckee and North Tahoe high schools will challenge themselves to “be the change they wish to see in the world.”

Students will participate in Challenge Day, a global, nonprofit event aimed at addressing the controversial issues teens face at school such as bullying, violence, intolerance, stereotypes and gossip.

“It forces students to look at how they behave toward other people,” said John Neary, principal of Tahoe Truckee High School.

The program is designed to create a positive change in schools and communities by challenging students to commit to making one positive act of change each day, said Laurie Martin, event coordinator.

“It gives young people tools to manage feelings, and support each other in a better environment,” Martin said.

Funding for the event was provided by the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation who contributed $25,000 through a private donor, Martin said.

“Students see themselves and their peers in a new way. They’re much more accepting of themselves and each other,” Martin said.

The all-day event will be led by a group of adult mentors including teachers and community volunteers, Martin said.

“The adult mentors are a really important part of the experience,” Martin said.

Challenge Day was founded in 1987 and has since been featured in an Emmy Award-winning film and on an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for youth to come together to break down the barriers they face today,” Martin said.

Challenge Day will be held on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 22 and 23 at Sierra Mountain Community Education Center from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. and on Thursday, Sept. 25 at North Tahoe High School from 7:15 a.m. until 3:15 p.m.

Event coordinators are still looking for volunteers and those interested may contact Laurie Martin at creativecollaborations@comcast.net.

For more information on Challenge Day, visit http://www.challengeday.org.

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