Proactive program held at CVMS
A two-day proactive symposium was developed at Carson Valley Middle School to address the needs of 7th grade students.
The entire event was coordinated by Jodi Wass, a counselor at CVMS.
“I was approached by the administration because they had so many office referrals for 7th graders involving violent behavior and disrespect. I was asked to put together a guidance activity to address the needs of these students,” Wass said.
It was plain awesome,” said Lulu Sewell, a 7th grader at CVMS. “it had an emotional impact on all who took it seriously.”
The symposium was broken up into four different stations. The first station was run by Pam Calhoun, vice principal, and Teri Masterson, counselor, and addressed team-building and teamwork. The goal of this activity was to provide the students the opportunity to work as a team to assemble a working flashlight.
The second station focused on violence prevention. It was presented by officer Ramon Barboza, a gang-resistance officer from the Reno police department. Barboza led a discussion comparing life to a game, in which all of the players must follow the rules in order to win. If individuals are “cheating” in the game of life, it is not too late to make behavior changes to change their lives for the better.
The third station was presented by students and coaches from the Rite of Passage program. These students discussed choices and consequences, and how their choices had affected their lives. They discussed their growth through the ROP program and how that growth has affected them in positive ways.
“It was absolutely spectacular. It taught us life skills and the importance of making good decisions. It made us think of how good of a person we could be, based on the choices we make,” said Collin Muren.
The fourth and final station was led by teachers Linde Pirtle and Jill Davis. This station simulated life experiences that the students encounter every day: being treated well or poorly based on superficial, irrational assumptions that other people make.
“I liked how the symposium made students stop and think, but also stop and feel about how they treat other people. I thought the violence prevention station was intense but necessary. It brought out what it feels like to be a victim. Kids needed to experience it because they don’t always stop and think about how they treat others,” said Lynn Crossman, a CVMS parent.
Casey Pieretti, a Douglas High School graduate, returned to his Carson Valley Middle School alma mater on Friday, April 25, as the culminating activity for CVMS’s 7th grade symposium, and displayed a special talent performing inline skate stunts for the students.
The school-wide assembly that featured Pieretti’s Team Definite Impact and their inline skating stunts did definitely make an impact on the students.
What makes Pieretti special is that he is able to perform with only one leg and a prosthesis. When Pieretti was in college, pursuing a career in basketball, he was hit by a drunk driver, and lost his right leg.
However, instead of giving up on his dreams, he pursued inline skating, and now speaks to students about the dangers of driving drunk, as well as the importance of never giving up on their dreams.
Pieretti, who is sponsored by Flex Foot, Inc. and Power Bar, tours around the country making motivational speeches and performing for students on his inline skates.
The assembly began with an introduction of Pieretti by Douglas High School teacher Randy Green who was Pieretti’s basketball coach. Pieretti then spoke to the students and performed skating stunts which included skating up a ramp, sailing into the air, and slam-dunking a basketball over the principal’s head.