ANSONIA – “My students were not fidgeting… that’s a miracle!” said Mrs. Janowiecki. Her students were Ansonia fifth graders and they were focused because of the message being delivered – the consequences of drug abuse.
Seventeen students from Edison State Community College’s Darke County Campus headed out to three local school districts to talk to nearly 500 fifth and sixth graders about the dangers of such drugs as tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, heroin, even common household items such as the improper use of aerosols, prescription drugs and more. The Edison State students – armed with facts and personal stories – hoped they could have an impact on the young lives they were addressing.
The team presentations were the Capstone projects of Edison State’s Fundamentals of Communication class. Students spent six weeks preparing to take their message to Greenville South School sixth graders, and Mississinawa Valley and Ansonia fifth and sixth graders.
Their grades for the project, almost exclusively 9 and 10 points out of 10, were influenced by the critiques of the teachers at the school districts.
Mississinawa Valley teachers noted the presentations were “very age appropriate” and the “personal experiences [shared] connected with the audience… they knew their facts!”
South School sixth grade teacher Emily McIntyre also commented on the personal stories, as well as the interaction with her students. “[This was] good information for the students to know,” she added.
Ansonia teachers Mr. Riethman and Mrs. Blakeley noted the team got the attention of their students.
“A great message,” said Riethman.
Blakeley concurred. “I am sure it made a difference,” she added.
Ansonia Principal Krista Stump said the real strength of the presentation to her students was the fact that the message was coming from a team in which three of the four members were from Ansonia.
“That got their attention,” she added.
The Edison State students, without exception, were pleased they’d done well with their final presentations.
“I hope it will make a difference for some,” several said.
“The teachers also offered critiques in areas that needed improvement,” said Bob Robinson, course instructor at Edison State. “Those critiques will be used to help students in my future classes.”
He added he always asks his students a question when they’ve completed the assignment.
“During the first week of class would you have believed that 15 weeks later you’d be talking to fifth and sixth graders about drug abuse?,” he said.
Their response was an emphatic, “No!”
The presenting Edison State students were Tonya Alton, Ashton Bradham, Savannah Busch, Brea Diceanu, Lindsey Didier, John Fischer, Addison Griffith, Alyssa Henderson, Lacy Henninger, Marlee Hess, Jona Hoover, Emilee Morris, Brooke Neal, Maddi Schaar, Dustin Sendoza, Rebecca Sypolt and Kate Young.