Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

School Foundation grants local students a Challenge Day


Tonia Copeland/Western Nebraska Observer

Kimball Public Schools Foundation representatives Jamie Soper, Greg Robinson and Jerry Knutsen present a check to Kimball Prevention Coalition members Carli Wurdeman, Kate Reader and Maddison Wynne.

Challenge Day is coming to Kimball.

Imagine a school where everyone feels safe, loved and celebrated. Imagine enemies finding common ground and making peace; friends healing past hurts and making amends; people igniting their passion for service and leadership; adults and youth working together to create a school where everyone is included and thrives. According to challengeday.org, This is Challenge Day.

With a $10,000 grant from the Kimball Public Schools Foundation, the Kimball Prevention Coalition (KPC) is bringing Challenge Day to the students at the Kimball Jr. Sr. High School on August 27 and 28.

The Foundation has received two anonymous donations from an alumni, according to Foundation board member Greg Robinson, and more is expected from the same alumni.

The Foundation board sought ways to use the funds for the current students, and Soper, who is also a board member, suggested Challenge Day.

"The total amount of the contributions we have received in the last two years is about $84,000," Robinson said. "So we are using a little bit to do this Challenge Day. The Foundation board is very excited about this; we all think it is something that is very needed at our school and would be very beneficial for our students."

The idea did not begin with Soper at the Foundation board meeting, but rather, it began with KPC students.

"We were talking about some of the things we wanted to do this coming year and Challenge Day came up. We just thought never in a million years would this happen for us," Soper said. "Maddie (Wynne) actually presented it to the group and we thought 'We could fund raise for a long time, but who knows?'"

The KPC students presented the idea to the Foundation board and were given the funds to make it happen.

Challenge Day is an anti-bullying experience meant to foster a sense of connectedness, empathy and inclusivity to students, according to the Challenge Day website.

Some of the issues addressed will be cliques, gossip, rumors, negative judgements, teasing, harassment, isolation, stereotypes, intolerance, racism, sexism, bullying, violence, suicide, hopelessness, homophobia, apathy, and other pressures faced by teens and young adults.

Follow-up activities are planned for the remainder of the coming school year as well and one Kimball citizen is working to purchase a t-shirt for each student attending the day.

A ratio of one adult for every four students is desired for the event. On the first day 91 students are expected to attend with 94 students attending the second day.

"One of the things that I think is a huge positive is that it includes staff too and then people in the community," Soper added. "If you would like to be a part of Challenge Day please just let me know."


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