Walking Tall teaches Shamokin Area students about respect, making good choices
SHAMOKIN - The students in Stephanie Lubeskie's third grade class at Shamokin Area Elementary School sat up straight, raised their hands and were polite when answering guest teacher Lois Purcell.
Wednesday's class started off with a review of the proper way to walk down the hall and to sit properly.
"I can see how well you remember your lessons. Look at all you winners sitting up straight in your seats, very tall and proper," Purcell said.
"I hope they remember this when you leave," Lubeskie said.
It's all part of the Winners Walk Tall program being presented in several Northumberland County schools by Psychological Services Clinic Inc., a group with offices in Sunbury, Danville and Bloomsburg.
Shamokin Area started its program Sept. 18 with Purcell going around the school to teach 20-minute classes about respect, manners and making good choices.
"Elementary students are very responsive to the lessons and enjoy learning new things," said Donna Pinter of Psychological Services Clinic Inc. "They love to make themselves feel like winners and know they are gaining skills to go forward in life and do well at the things they do."
Students in the Winners Walk Tall program learn by listening to instructors, discussing ideas, asking and answering questions, and using worksheets, interactive activities and educational games.
On Wednesday, the students learned about "magic words of good manners," such as "please," "thank you" and "excuse me."
"Who can use 'please' in a sentence?'" Purcell asked the class.
A student raised her hand and asked, "May I please have another cookie?"
"That is the same way I ask when I do, because I love cookies," Purcell said.
Pinter said students are learning life skills and important emotional quotient factors, and classes focus largely on making good choices, treating others well, staying away from bullying and developing the skills needed to be successful and well-respected throughout their lives.
Purcell handles the program at Shamokin Area Elementary and will teach at Mount Carmel Area Elementary School later this month. Teacher Samantha Broussard teaches the program at Chief Shikellamy Elementary and Grace S. Beck Elementary and will soon bring it to Turbotville and Watsontown elementary schools.
Through its elementary and middle school counseling programs, Psychological Services Clinic reaches between 500 and 600 students a week.
The programs are being funded by the Northumberland County Drug and Alcohol Program as part of its prevention efforts.