‘Know’ing How to Say No – Buffalo County Eighth Grade Prevention Day

‘Know’ing how to say no was one of the key messages of the Buffalo County Eighth Grade Prevention Day on February, 19, 2019 at Mondovi High School. The Buffalo County Partnership Council, a coalition of teachers, students, law enforcement, university professors and public health and human services professionals, invited all eighth grade students in Buffalo County from Alma, Cochrane-Fountain City, Gilmanton and Mondovi schools to participate in the annual prevention day.

The featured speaker was Mr. Tom Kidd of Balanced Wellness Services. Kidd used powerful personal stories to share the importance of respect, perseverance, humility and integrity. Kidd also discussed with students the core strategies in refusal skills, or ways to say no to risk behaviors like using alcohol, drugs or vaping as adolescents. Kidd also used short videos and images to engage students and remind them the power they have to help or hurt others with their words and behaviors.

Brandy Kummer, a Public Health Intern at Buffalo County and a senior nursing student from Virterbo University, presented with Annie Lisowski from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension Buffalo County, on the dangers of vaping and juuling. Kummer discussed the marketing techniques used to encourage teenagers to use the product as well as the health, financial and physical injury concerns that arise from using e-cigarette products.

Bolton Refuge House and their presenter, Libby Richter, provided an interactive session with students on safe relationships with friends and partners. Eighth grade students learned about healthy dating relationships and how to recognize the signs of a controlling and unhealthy one. Students left the session with the tools to help themselves or others that are impacted by domestic violence.

Eighth graders were also trained in a suicide prevention program called QPR. QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and stands for Question, Persuade, Refer. The program teaches suicide warning signs and helps individuals ask their friends and family the question, persuade them to get help and refer them to a professional resource. Laura Baalsrud of Sacred Heart Hospital presented QPR.

Eighth grade day is made possible from the support and funding of the Buffalo County Partnership Council (BCPC) whose mission is to “provide collaborative prevention programming to educate youth and their families to make healthy choices and positively influence people and policies.” To learn more about BCPC like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/buffalocountypartnershipcouncil.

Eighth Grade Day Photo Gallery

To enlargen photos, click on the photo.

Keynote speaker, Tom Kidd, speaks with students about respect, perserverance, humility and integrity at Eighth Grade Prevention Day.

Brandy Kummer, a Buffalo County Public Health Intern, spoke with eighth grade students about the dangers of vaping and juuling.

Bolton Refuge House worked with eighth graders at their prevention day to equip them with skills for healthy relationships.

Alma eighth graders were excited to learn refusal skills at BCPC prevention day.

Laura Baalsrud of Sacred Heart trained students in QPR, a suicide prevention strategy.

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