SADD conference Friday in Warren

The Warren County chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) will host its 23rd Annual Spring Conference on Friday, April 25, at the Holy Redeemer Center in Warren from 8:30 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.

Students from Warren County schools, along with students from Tidioute Charter School, and other school districts, will attend.

This year’s theme is “Until I walk a mile in your shoes”, encouraging students to think about their personal actions and words affect others. The theme will hopefully remind students to not criticize and judge, but instead to support and defend.

The keynote speaker for the day will be Sterlen Barr with his presentation “No Place for Hate,” a program designed to decrease bullying and violence in schools. It strives to make schools safe havens and positive learning environments. It focuses on changing the idea that kids aren’t supposed to tell when they see or experience something wrong, and that “snitches get stitches.” It helps them to see that they need each other’s support. They learn that if they see someone bullying they have the responsibility to tell an adult. The No Place for Hate program addresses cyber-bullying, teasing and harmful playing. The program strives to empower students, and to teach them to respect themselves and others, including the students doing the bullying. In addition, focus is placed on how education can fulfill dreams, hopes and aspirations, and how they can avoid the negative consequences of bad behavior” (www.sterlenbarr.com/npfh.shtml).

In addition to Mr. Barr’s break-out session/workshop, student participants will also listen to a group of students from Abraxas, who will share their life stories and a third workshop will discuss the overall dangers of driving with a representative from IMPACT teen driving from Harrisburg.

Again this year students will participate in the seatbelt challenge. Midtown Motors of Warren donated a vehicle to use for this activity. Winners of the challenge will receive a prize.

This conference would not be possible without donations from area businesses, individuals, and organizations. Many organizations donated food, money, and their valuable time to make this conference happen. Contributions were received from the Community Foundation of Warren County, Betts Foundation, The Exchange Club, American Legion, John Gertsch Memorial Fund, Tidioute Vets Serviceman’s Home, NFG No2 Federal Credit Union, Kane Area School District, Randall E Voty Insurance, and the DUI Program of Forest County.

Each year, this day provides students with information about how the decisions they make can affect their lives. Through the generosity of organizations, businesses, and individuals of Warren County. Coordinators hope this event continues to motivate students to think about their decisions and to make positive choices.

SADD would like to extend an open invitation to anyone who wants to stop in to see what the conference entails. Any questions can be directed to the Warren County SADD coordinator Bonnie Webster at 728-3522.