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Courage retreat inspires EMS sixth grade class

Ellsworth Middle School sixth graders took part in a Youth Frontiers Courage Retreat on Oct. 19, in which they learned how to break down barriers, increase trust in each other and encourage teamwork in their class. Submitted photos1 / 3
Ellsworth Middle School sixth graders took part in a Youth Frontiers Courage Retreat on Oct. 19, in which they learned how to break down barriers, increase trust in each other and encourage teamwork in their class. Submitted photos2 / 3
Ellsworth Middle School sixth graders took part in a Youth Frontiers Courage Retreat on Oct. 19, in which they learned how to break down barriers, increase trust in each other and encourage teamwork in their class. Submitted photos3 / 3

On Oct. 19, sixth graders from Ellsworth Middle School participated in a Courage Retreat conducted by Youth Frontiers. Youth Frontiers, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that partners with schools to create more positive school communities.

The group's description reads: "The Youth Frontiers Courage Retreat inspires character by empowering a single grade level of students to act with moral courage and identify the social fears and peer pressures that impede responsible decision-making. The retreat encourages them to take positive risks that make a healthy difference for themselves, their peers and your school. Participation in the retreat results in cognitive, attitudinal and behavioral shifts that decrease students' distractions to learning and build a positive school community. "

Students were greeted by excited high school mentors. Sixth grade students were broken down into small groups and discussed ideas on how to treat each other better, and how to become engaged and stand up for one another. There were large group activities with music and singing, communicating important messages, while encouraging student participation. Interactive games were played throughout the day to break down barriers, increase trust and encourage teamwork within the sixth grade class. At the end of the day students were asked to focus on an act of courage they will strive for.

The Courage Retreat is funded in part by a grant from the Ellsworth Community School District Foundation. It was a great day, with a lot of impact!

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