Newell health class enjoys alternative topics

April 13, 2018 GMT

NEWELL — In recent weeks, the Newell High School health and middle school physical education classes have enjoyed some alternative topics during the educational process. Those topics include environmental health issues, careers in the field of outdoor science, emergency medical field, and 10 segments on how to have a healthy relationship.

Teachers Scott Wince and Steve Schoenfish provide opportunities that the students do not get in normal health and education classes.

“I asked my class to research the health of our environment,” Wince said. “That is the only info I gave them. Today they came back (with a list of topics) such as global warming, sanitation problems in Africa, fracking, pollution and its relationship with rainforests, water quality in Colorado, waste from feedlots and where it (the waste) goes.”

So Wince began the search for someone to speak to these issues. The answer came in the form of Justin Boerboom, district conservationist at the Belle Fourche field office.

Boerboom visited the classroom and wasn’t sure exactly what he was going to share. He was hoping for, and got, quite a few questions.

“This is the first time I have presented for a health class, “ he said. “With NRCS (National Resource Conservation Service), we try to do a lot of outreach to students.”

Boerboom said he usually presents to science and ag classes and at career fairs, promoting NRCS as a career option. He said they try to tie in protecting natural resources while considering human and economic factors.

Boerboom said some of the topics they touched on included watershed work, water quality, animal feeding operations, soil health, and regulations.

“We also discussed my career path to where I am now, and the advantages of working with NRCS,” Boerboom said.

Another unique learning opportunity came from local resources as EMT’s from Newell Ambulance Service came into the health classroom to demonstrate some of the things they do in their volunteer positions.

Don Tishmack, Todd Komes, and Tom Lewis came in with the ambulance and gurney and loaded up one of the students for mock transport. They even allowed other students to help strap their cohort onto the gurney, including putting on a neck collar.

Since the students knew most of the EMTs, it was both an enjoyable and hands-on learning experience.

Beginning March 19, the students had another option to become educated on how to build and maintain healthy relationships with others.

Youth and Family Services (YFS) started a 10-session segment called the Stronger Family Program.

The Stronger Family Program focuses on strengthening families as a whole by providing curriculum, strategies, and activities that will support healthy marriages, relationships, and families. YFS staff assists participants in developing skills to build relationships and increase their goal of economic stability, mobility, and employability, according to the YFS website.

The program is a federally funded, no-cost project that serves individuals, couples, families, and high school youth. Topics will include communication skills, money management, managing emotions, conflict resolution, making wise choices, setting life goals, and more.

The classes will be held for eighth- and ninth-grades and will run through April during Wince’s ninth-grade health class and Steven Schoenfish’s eighth-grade PE class. The Dibble Institute, a resource for teaching relationship skills, brings the sessions.

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