CHARLES CITY (IOWA) Charles City High School freshmen enjoyed a unique learning opportunity implementing and experiencing “respect” this week, and what that really means. Ninth grade students are assisted in the respect retreat by Youth Frontiers, an organization focused on building communities where students thrive socially, emotionally and academically. Megan Lee Erickson is the Retreat coordinator for this special field day, which is described as a transition exercise, and explains the goals of the program:
Everyone benefits through relationship building. Students know they are held accountable to a higher standard and are welcomed into the retreat center with cheering and applause. Trudy McKeag is an English teacher and freshman advisor at Charles City and says they definitely see a change in students after participating in the retreat:
Thirty-seven upper classmen also participate in the retreat taking part as mentors. More than 60 sophomore, junior, and senior students apply for the day-long gig and they are the key in adding excitement to the event. Derek LaBarge is one of the freshmen who participated in Wednesdays retreat:
By the end of the day students publicly are sharing what their goals are to respect themselves, each other, and how they plan to stand up for their classmates. Another freshman who says he really learned about the positive impact of respect on his life was Marshall Holzer:
For years the program was funded through a grant; however Trudy McKeag says the grant no longer covers the program and they are now relying on donations to cover $2,800 needed to keep it going:
There is still a deficit of $1,300 that yet has to be raised to cover the cost of this year’s program. If you or your organization would like to assist financially please contact the Charles City High school.