On January 16, 2024 at Mondovi High School fifth and sixth graders from Mondovi, Alma, Cochrane-Fountain City and Gilmanton schools participated in the annual Buffalo County Partnership Council 5th and 6th Grade Prevention Day. The program was hosted by the Buffalo County Partnership Council (BCPC), a group of teachers, students, county agencies, and community organizations with the mission to “provide collaborative prevention programming to educate youth and their families to make healthy choices and positively influence people and policies.”
The day of prevention included three key presenters focused on preparing young people to start their middle school experience on the right foot. Energizer Carl Olson utilized a mix of motivation and magic to encourage young people to think critically about keeping their grades up, effectively handling peer pressure, making good decisions when faced with bullying, contributing to their school and community, showing gratitude to others and strategies for success in their next years before graduation. In his closing, he reminded students to always work to their personal best, “be someone that is trusted by others” and led them in the chant, “Good, Better, Best; Never Let it Rest!” His energizing presentation engaged students with his inspiring anecdotes and amazing magic tricks.
Fifth and Sixth Grade Day also featured a presentation from Sergeant Nic Scholl of the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Department, Officer Kris Sundeen of the Mondovi Police Department, and Darrin Loewenhagen of Pepin County Sheriff’s Department and his partner K-9, Jack. Sergeant Scholl completed a demonstration of how Jack sniffs out illegal substances including meth, marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. He also shared with students Jack’s purpose and spoke with students about how he assists in solving drug-related crimes in Buffalo County and the neighboring areas. Jack is also trained to track individuals if they are missing. Many students had questions for Sergeant Scholl and other officers and were eager to learn more about how Jack is trained and uses commands to detect drugs throughout the community.
Buffalo County Public Health Educator, Dyllan Smith, presented to the fifth-grade students on the dangers of vaping. He engaged students in learning more about the negative consequences that can occur to their physical and mental health when vaping nicotine and THC. Students learned about popcorn lung, the financial costs of other tobacco products, nicotine addiction, and how vaping affects the body and brain. The students also observed the impact of smoking on the body with a set of damaged pig lungs. The sixth graders had the opportunity to learn about the negative impacts of vaping by working in small groups to Escape the Vape – mini escape rooms with puzzles that take knowledge of healthy choices to solve.
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