Nobody said that growing up was easy. While adults around you might tell you “these are the best years of your life,” it often seems like they’ve forgotten everything about being a kid — the pressures, the uncertainty, the confusion. There is no question that you are living in one of the most complex and demanding times we have ever known. Parents, teachers, and friends seem to be concerned with nothing but your grades or your test scores and where you will go to college. You try to work hard in school, but you have many other competing demands and only 24 hours in a day.
Challenge Success recognizes that our society is out of balance, and that kids are often not getting the support and care they need, including time for family, friends, play, and rest. We are here to help. We believe that students should be equal partners with educators and parents in order to make long-lasting and positive changes in schools and communities. You are in the perfect position as a student to advocate for yourself and all the students at your school. Here are a few suggestions from our Challenge Success student leaders to help you get started:
- Read about our school program and how to bring a team of teachers, counselors, parents, administrators, and other students from your school to our annual conference.
- Write editorials and/or design posters offering simple, practical tips for managing stress.
- Host student/parent “dialogue nights” in which students create skits depicting typical student/parent interactions (discussions about grades, parents urging kids to take harder classes, etc.), followed by round-table discussions between students and parents. Detailed instructions for how to host a dialogue night are available in our book, Overloaded and Underprepared.
- Organize assemblies with panels of students and health experts. Assemblies can be filmed and shared with a local community. One particular assembly featured a student-created film on stress and was followed by a town meeting conversation on stress prevention and coping strategies.
- Put on a community health and wellness fair to raise awareness of the issue of stress and to allow students to sample stress reduction strategies such as yoga, meditation, massage, and exercise.
For more information, email our School Program Director, Margaret Dunlap. We would love to hear from you!