On Monday, Rachel Hance, UK extension office, presented nutritional information for young adults. Games were played with team competitions to learn about the importance of nutrients in diet to promote a healthy lifestyle. The morning continued with all of the students participating in a “RHS Yardsale.” Students are instructed to identify all of the positive assets of their school that were the most valuable to them in preparing for the next step. They also identify those negative assets and target programs that are good, but need improvement.
In the last session, groups work together to find solutions to their identified needs. Superintendent Leon Smith visited the class before lunch and group leaders presented their concerns, ideas and solutions. Mr. Smith, impressed with their work, addressed questions and concerns from the students. Topics of most interest to the students included the need for more family and consumer science classes, building up dates, increase in dual credit courses, dress codes and cell phone use policy.
RHS Alumni and local attorneys Corey Morgan, Ken Williams and Neil Kerr hosted an afternoon session on “U at 18,” a program sponsored by the Kentucky Young Attorneys Association. Students received facts concerning laws that must be followed and the consequences of not following them once they turn 18. Students asked questions about their rights as a citizen, an employee, a driver and a consumer.
Chris Dressler of Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority also presented a session on “It’s money baby.” Information about budgeting, educational expenses, grants, financial assistance, banking, insurance and living expenses were discussed.
Tuesday, began with a demonstration and class on self defense led by classmate Browning Smith and instructor Danny Robbins. Students were shown how to escape an attacker, to be proactive in a threatening situation and some basic release techniques. After the demonstration, students voiced an interest in attending a class on their own to increase their confidence on safety. A field trip to the business district of Russellville involved appointments with RHS Alumni Sandra Kinser of BB&T, Holli Brown of First Southern National Bank and Ralph Addison of US Bank for first hand advice on banking topics of checking accounts, debit cards, credit cards and protecting one’s credit score. Advice was given on issues that are leading causes of financial failure … overdrafts, credit history, credit scores, failure to pay. Students were warned about marketing techniques from credit companies which target their age population. Edna Hughes and Billy Bingham of Russellville Lewisburg Bank presented information from organizations of the Russellville/Logan Chamber of Commerce and the Logan Economic and Development group.
Students were interested in the economic development of Russellville and Logan County, as many of them will begin in the work force after high school. Those who are planning on careers after college gained information about what professions are in the highest demand in our area. RHS Alumni Trevor Coe, Levine Group, Inc. began his presentation by asking, "What can $1,333.84 buy today … brand new?"
Students were surprised to find out that if they had invested that amount of money one year ago in Ford stock, they could purchase a 2010 Ford car today. Information concerning their savings and planning for future retirement was discussed, along with concerns about the future of Social Security. Afternoon session featured an art project to help prepare and decorate for the prom. Armed with a multitude of beads, feathers and glitter, masquerade masks were designed by each member.
Yoga class began the Wednesday session. Carpenter Center staff JoAnn Dearmond, Lisa Graham and Angie Miller led the students in exercises to strengthen their body and relax their minds. Over 98 percent of the class had their first experience to this form of health wellness. Upon completion, many students commented that they would love to have yoga as part of their physical education curriculum. The morning continued with a field trip in the community. To experience the rewards of sharing your gifts by giving your time, students participated in "Seniors to Seniors". Groups visited local senior citizens at Baptist Homes, Inc., Russellville Senior Citizens, Creekwood Place and Active Adult Daycare. After meeting with their senior partner and sharing interests, the groups enjoyed playing Bingo and some enjoyed a live auction.
Both groups of "Seniors" reported the experience as a wonderful activity! Before lunch, First Southern National Bank gave opportunities to get in the money machine and collect up to $100! Five seniors enjoyed the thirty seconds in the machine and came out winners. The afternoon session focused on employment skills. Ron Barbe, manager of Ventra Plastics, and RHS Alumni Carol Elliott, Ventra Plastics Human Resource manager, presented a program informing students how to acquire a job, keep a job and ways to definitely lose a job. Interviewing skills do’s and don’ts were role played to give an example of how to be the best interviewee and the best employee. In conjunction with the responsibility of the employee to the employer, work ethic, work etiquette and job responsibility were discussed. Students had an opportunity to ask questions about wages, benefits and job security.
Thursday activities began with music and dancing! Belinda White led the students in a variety of line dances and couple dances. Students were surprised that the dances were easy, fun and most importantly, to popular music. A field trip to Bowling Green for an afternoon of bowling with classmates was enjoyed by all.
To end "Senior Week", the morning began with a visit from local Rotarians and RHS Alumni Charlie Ray, Chuck Phillips and Danny Harris for instruction on how to tie a tie! Both males and females were taught this important skill to better prepare them for social and work related events. Presentations concerning social etiquette were practiced concerning cell phones use, table manners and writing thank you notes. A field trip to the new Logan County Justice Center was led by Judge Tyler Gill and Laura Lee Robey. Students were made aware of the court offices and duties of the court. In the court room, Judge Tyler Gill refreshed the students on the history of our nation, the responsibilities of a citizen to the judicial system and spoke about the most seen offenses in the court today.
Warning signs of potential drug abuse and the dangers of drug use was given from the view of the court, a mentor and a father. RHS Alumni and attorney Gail Guiling also addressed the students. Upon return, students received letters of congratulations from an array of people who have been a part of their life to this point. A luncheon sponsored by RHS ALUMNI at Russellville Country Club to congratulate the students on their future graduation.
Students were honored by Shawn Sansom, RHS teacher and parent, with a violin performance. She was accompanied by RHS parent, Susan Fox.
The event is organized and directed by RHS Alumni and educator, Belinda Ray. RHS Alumni Samra Smith and Lisa Cohen was also instrumental in the activities of the week. Ray tributes the success of the program to the countless number of volunteers which include parents, teachers, staff, bus drivers, community leaders, civic organizations, alumni and administrative leaders. "It is wonderful to work for a system that not only provided me with an excellent education and caring teachers, but has also given me the opportunity to pay it forward and continue the "Tradition of Excellence" with our future.