>New program has elementary school kids thinking about being better people
Beginning the 2001-2002 year, Ochoco Elementary implemented a new and exciting program called "Lifeskills for Success". School administrators and parents created this program to instill and enforce positive qualities in children and help them develop personal values.
   Lifeskills focuses student learning upon building healthy relationships, effectively solving problems, forming strong work habits and developing positive character traits. At such an impressionable age, Lifeskills will aid youngsters in building their personal character, values and self image. Ochoco administrators feel that this program will create more caring and responsible children, therefore creating successful adults.
   Each month at Ochoco Elementary a new Lifeskill is the focus of learning. For example, November's Lifeskill is Compassion and Empathy, next month's skill is Patience.
   Students discuss the meaning and importance of each Lifeskill at their morning assemblies and participate in weekly exercises that enhance the highlighted Lifeskill of the month. These activities include skits, class discussion, role plays, poetry, music, art, games and assemblies.
   It is hoped that as students participate in these learning activities they will begin to display positive character virtues and realize the value of important life skills.
   As a reward and added incentive for students, Lifeskill awards are given each month to two students per classroom who best exemplify the Lifeskill of the month.
   Each Lifeskill nominee is awarded a certificate praising their virtues, and their name is announced during an assembly at the end of each month.
   Kids are excited to see who wins the award which gives them incentive to try harder to be a model student.
   Ochoco counselor Darin Kessi explains, "The goal of the awards is to get kids to think of who they are as a person. It brings out awareness of what is important to be a good citizen. These awards are for something other than academics or sports, they are positive rewards for being a good person."
   The Lifeskills program is a great advantage for kids helping to instill self-respect and confidence, helping them achieve personal success, educational and career success, successful relationships and above all a successful life.
   Ochoco Elementary's Lifeskill program is teaching children to establish and maintain a healthy and positive lifestyle.
   "This program makes us see that we are all in this together," Kessi emphasizes. "It helps the atmosphere of the school and makes Ochoco a fun place when we respect and care for each other."
   Lifeskills will continue for the remaining 2001-2002 school year with a valuable skill learned each month.
   With only its first year in effect, Lifeskills has a positive outlook in the future of Ochoco's curriculum.
   Similar programs will also be arising at Cecil Sly Elementary and Powell Butte Elementary.
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