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Program aims to reduce behavior issues in school

Halifax County Middle School has forged a partnership with Halifax County Mentor Role Model, Inc., and on Monday school officials joined with Mentor Role Model representatives to unveil “Prevention Before Suspension.”

“This new partnership will reinforce the school’s vision which is to maintain a positive climate focused on serving children, working with staff, parents and the community,” Principal Faye Bruce said.

Angela Townes-Yancey, executive director of the mentoring program, has partnered with the middle school to recruit young people who will benefit from relationships with
caring adults. The mentor program will share ways to improve behavior, study skills and character development. 

Bruce said she coined the program, “Prevention Before Suspension,” with a strong emphasis on behavior modification and building relationships. 

 “Prevention Before Suspension” is designed to proactively improve student discipline, the principal added.

 The Mentor Role Model Program’s goal is to focus on one-on-one mentorship; however, with the mentor/mentee ratio being so low, this makes the goal of one-on-one impossible at this time.

“We are striving daily to reach out to new mentors and past mentors and encourage caring adults to get more involved with our mission by becoming a mentor.  Our program goes into the Halifax County Elementary schools to partner with the teachers and staff to identify the children between grades pre-K and fifth that would be best suited to participate in the program,” Yancey said.  

“This in itself leaves a large group of children/teens not being serviced.  This partnership that we are entering in with the Halifax County Middle School will allow us to do group teen mentee sessions during or after school hours.  From these sessions we can further identify the youth that are in greater need of the one-on-one mentorship and possibly match them.  This partnership is a win-win program for the youth as well as the parent.”  

By offering these free sessions, Yancey said, it will strengthen the youth to make better decisions while in school, home and the community.  

“As a whole this is a positive for Halifax County,” she said.

 According to Yancey, the Mentor Role Model Program will come into the schools at an arranged time with the school officials and offer sessions on making good choices all together.  

“There will be a curriculum for these sessions, and we are more than positive by offering these ‘better choice workshops’ it will enable the youth/teen to have an additional avenue to travel during their tenure within the school system and future.  

“We are hoping that offering ‘Prevention Avenue’ will allow the youth an option before arriving at a dead end road of bullying, fighting, drugs, alcohol, etc.,” Yancey said.