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FFA, Prosper report to ELC Board

By Staff | Feb 14, 2014

Visitors brought a lot of positive news about the Estherville Lincoln Central School District at the ELC Board meeting Monday night.

Taylor Greig, Lauren Newgard and Sarah Lambert reported on the FFA annual convention they attended in Louisville, Ky. During the three-day convention, they and other FFA members from ELC heard from keynote speaker Rick Pitino, Louisville Cardinals head basketball coach. They also went to the Louisville Slugger baseball bat factory and the Churchill Downs, site of the Kentucky Derby. They also heard from motivational speaker and paralympic skier Josh Sundquist, and on their return stopped at The Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

The board next heard from Shawn Olsen and Britney Rosburg of the Prosper program.

Olsen said ELC was approached 12 years ago to be one of seven Iowa Prosper schools.

Iowa State University trained many facilitators for the Strengthening Families program, a subsidiary of Prosper which dovetails with DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) for fifth graders, and is offered to every sixth grader. No longer funded by ISU, Olsen said Prosper is now self-sustained through local support.

Rosburg said 20 families took part in the most recent Strengthening Families program with in turn dovetails with the All Stars program for seventh-graders.

Starting the end of February, parents and children will spend two hours a week for seven weeks working together in Prosper which shows kids how to set goals and deal with peer pressure and bullying.

Olsen said ELC one year had 30 percent participation – far above the 10 percent national average. He said he would like to see the program get back to that level.

Rosburg said Prosper has a varied demographic mix of students and parents, and Olsen said a strong youth who goes through the Prosper program will make a stronger, more positive influence on other kids.

Olsen said Prosper is free and Rosburg thanked local supporters for helping it continue.

Olsen said a typical meeting starts with a breakout session in which parents and children meet separately with facilitators for an hour then meet together for a second hour of skill building. He said every dollar spent on Prospers eventually helps society save over $9.