Every 15 Minutes - San Jacinto High SchoolStart Date: 04/04/2019
The teams gathered at 7:45 am and met in a classroom near the gym. First responders were interacting with the students selected for the program: the victims, the Grim Reaper, and the Living Dead. When the Grim Reaper went to the classrooms to claim his "victims", Katie and Carol, with their dogs, accompanied him while Laura went to the Counseling Center to meet with students who might need comfort. About 9:30, the participants went to the crash scene in preparation for the assembly. The crash scene included the two crashed cars, a fire engine, and a police car. Shortly thereafter, we heard sirens and paramedics and an ambulance arrived. We heard an on-going dialog among the law enforcement staff and the first responders. The students (juniors and seniors) were very attentive, as were the staff members. We returned to the classroom where the students removed the make-up and prepared for lunch. Early afternoon, the students boarded the bus for the evening Retreat at Camp Ronald McDonald. The HOPE members also drove and settled into the cabin for our overnight stay. Mid-afternoon, team building games and activities were held, followed by dinner. After dinner, the students and staff gathered for a meeting with two law enforcement officers from Riverside County. They talked with the students about the severity of drinking and driving. They spoke realistically about the consequences of DUI incidents and obviously had an impact on the students. Following their presentation, Officer Meyer coordinated a speaker/listener activity. This was followed by a meditative visualization exercise as the students sat in a large circle. As they passed the candle, each student and staff member shared their feelings about the program and what they had gained from the experience. Some of the students became extremely emotional as they shared their feelings with their peers. As this activity ended, Officer Meyer gave the students the assignment of writing a letter to their parents, beginning with the sentence, "Today, I died." The following morning, the group returned to school to participate in the Memorial Service, which was held in the gymnasium. The audience was extremely respectful. Following the showing of the video, the school's Jazz Choir sang a beautiful song and several individuals -- students and adults -- shared various perspectives on the danger of DUI. Following the assembly, numerous students interacted with the dogs. From there, the handlers went to the Counseling Center where we met with more students. The dogs definitely did their jobs, as did the handlers!
Approximate number of interactions: 500.
Carol Betzer and Nikki; Laura Finlon and Gunner; Katie Priest and Wall-E