Submitted by Deb Hartshorn

CHOICES205we all have to make them. Some choices are easier than others and some require a great deal of thought. However, when you are in middle school the choices you make not only affect you now, but for the rest of your life.

On February 5th and 6th a program was presented to the entire 7th grade at Calhoun Middle School, this program was CHOICES. The program was presented in an informative, fun manner that was not threatening or judgmental. The Family Resource Network graciously funded the curriculum for the CHOICES program. The funding has been granted for the next two years. Their contribution is greatly appreciated and the results of this program will be far reaching.

The students explored the costs involved with living on your own. They were given an assignment, which required them to find an apartment. Students quickly discovered that $1200 did not go very far.

We discussed and identified factors that influence who we are and who we become. Out of 30 different factors students determined they had some control over 60% of the things that make them who they are.

We role played different educational decisions; high school drop out, high school graduate, and an education beyond high school. The students quickly surmised that an education beyond high school provided them with more job opportunities. They were given an assignment to find 2 jobs. One ad could be their dream job and the other would be a position a high school drop out would be qualified. The students worked very hard on these assignments and soon discovered jobs for high school drop outs were not abundant.

Summed up, the students were exposed to a full range of options or consequences they will encounter after high school. It's up to the students to decide where on that spectrum they want to be and to make appropriate decisions to get there.

Students were eager to participate and commented freely on the program. " I thought it was really good because it gave us a chance to see what college can do for us. I want to give college a chance so I can have a better life and more opportunities. I really liked the program because it showed me what college can do. I went home and told my Mom that I want to go to college now. I didn't before they did this presentation. My Mom asked me what made me want to go to college now and I told her Mrs. Hartshorn and a couple of her friends, Mr. Ward and Melody showed us stuff and how much more we can do if we go to college or get trained after we graduate." Deidre Brannon - Student

"I think you need to do this every year 'cause it helps us to think about what to do with our future. I didn't think about my future and now I am. I really liked the way everyone got to participate, everyone was interested in it. I wasn't going to college before and now I have been getting on the internet and looking for houses and colleges in Kentucky. I never thought about how school would make a difference later. I had a D on my report card and now I have been studying and I only missed 3 on my Science test, 'cause now I care about my grades. Mrs. Hartshorn and Melody tried to involve everyone they didn't put anyone down and they made us really come alive." Tim Butler - Student

"I think it was educational and I learned a lot from it, it will help me make choices in the future. It made me think about what I might like to do when I get older. It made me decide that I want to go to a really good college and make good grades now. It was fun and easy to understand. I would like more programs like this." Andrea Hardway - Student

"It was pretty good 'cause it helped me see that I need to make good choices now so I can make better choices when I am older and in college. I really think the most fun thing about it was the games we played and how it made us make choices." Chad Conley - Student

"The seminar had good visuals, it actively involved the students and was presented very well. It was of value in that it helped them to understand that they have the CHOICE to do what they want with their lives. I think it was wonderful." Sandy Rentschler - Teacher

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