Help offer teens CHOICES

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 1, 2010

VIDALIA — If you want to send students a message about the importance of education, then the Concordia Parish Economic and Industrial Development District wants you.

The CPEIDD and the Concordia Parish School District are teaming up for a second year to present the CHOICES program during the last week of April, and volunteer presenters are needed.

“We present it to all eighth-grade classes in the parish,” CPEIDD Director Heather Malone said. “The presenter goes through several different modules with the classes to talk about how the decisions they make in the eighth grade can affect them short term and long term, every decision has a consequence good or bad.”

Presenters in the CHOICES program use real life and hands-on activities to demonstrate the importance of staying in school.

“It is activity-based, not just a lecture,” Malone said. “It comes from real life people who have been through it but know that when you have been in the eighth grade you feel like you have been in school forever, but it’s not that long to graduate from high school, and it will have a huge impact on your life.”

Those the CPEIDD is looking for to be presenters are people who are in the business sector.

“It is good for the businesses around here to show these kids that there are some opportunities here that you can come back home to once you graduate from high school and go to technical school or college,” Malone said.

All volunteers will have to be approved by the school district, she said.

While Malone said she is trying to recruit back many of the presenters from last year, she especially needs presenters from the Ferriday area.

“We are heavily weighted with people from the Vidalia area, so I would like to find a few more people from Ferriday,” she said. “Last year I ended up taking three classes there because someone had to pull out at the last minute.”

Past volunteers will have a refresher course on the material, and new volunteers will receive training in the CHOICES program in late March to give them a month to practice with the materials before they go into the classrooms, Malone said.

For more information about the program, contact Malone at 318-336-3635.