ST. NICHOLAS - Beta Sigma, a local Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma International, has awarded Ruth Botbyl, B.S., Prevention Specialist with Public Health for Delta and Menominee Counties with their "Friend of Education Award," in honor of her work with the All Stars Program. The award was presented to her in early May in the Mid Peninsula School sixth-grade classroom of Pattie Kivioja by Mary Myllyla, a DKG member and educator.
Botbyl has been implementing this program for sixth graders in the Rapid River, Mid Peninsula, and Hannahville schools since 2004. The program is on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) list of evidence-based programs and practices. While teaching the program to local youth, Botbyl has participated twice in national research studies with the developers of the All Stars Program. It is an interactive, research-based program to delay the onset of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. The program focuses on strategies that will help decrease young people's chances of being involved in risky behaviors. It reinforces the idea that risky behaviors among their peers are not acceptable. It is also designed to help youth explore future goals and communicate clear no-use expectations with parents and peers.
The All Stars Program promotes parent/youth discussions with four take-home assignments to be worked on together. Students are encouraged to form and express their own opinions. The program includes small group activities, games, and art projects with peers. Students look at good and bad reputations and how to be a good citizen. The most important part of All Stars is when the students make nine commitments concerning their future. These commitments range from "how to develop good friendships," "what they will do about drinking or getting drunk," to "what they will do if they disagree with someone."
The sixth-grade students of Pattie Kivioja at Mid Peninsula School present Ruth Botbyl a “Friend of Education” award from the Delta Kappa Gamma Society for Botbyl’s work with All Stars Program, which is intended to delay the onset of alcohol, Tobacco and other drug use among students. Botbyl is a Prevention Specialist with Public Health for Delta and Menominee Counties. On hand for the presentation are: from left, Terry, Dominic, Cassidy, Botbyl, and Kaitlyn.
Parents have the opportunity to make comments. Some of these included, "We have talked about a lot of these same futures over the past six months." "I think he's starting to go in the right direction." "Discussing values is a very positive and enlightening way to understand both parent and child." "This has sparked good conversation with my child and I'm grateful he was able to participate in All Stars," and "Nice project, good discussion."
All Stars concludes with a celebration for both parents, family members, and peers where the youth publicly express their commitments for healthy life choices. The students receive a memento with nine stars on it to remind them of their nine commitments. Additional Public Health Prevention Specialists provide this program in other Delta and Menominee County schools. Contact PHDM at 786-4111 for more information.
Beta Sigma chapter members are located in the Michigan counties of Delta, Dickinson, Menominee, and Schoolcraft and the Wisconsin counties of Marinette and Oconto. The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and supports intercultural understanding and educational excellence. The Friend of Education Award is a way for the organization to recognize the efforts of community members to support education in their local communities.