Positive Youth-Development Program across District
October 22, 2012, Oak Brook, IL, USA – More than 12,000 Wood County, W.Va., students from 21 schools are set to benefit from Lions Quest, a kindergarten through 12th-grade life skills and positive youth development program.
The district-wide implementation of Lions Quest is part of a three-year partnership between Wood County Schools and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), the official charitable organization of Lions Clubs International that supports and develops humanitarian programs and youth programs such as Lions Quest.
“Wood County Schools is extremely excited to have been chosen by Lions Clubs International to receive a grant that will provide an opportunity for our students to participate in the Lions Quest program,” said Patrick Law, Superintendent of Wood County Schools. “A school should be a warm and inviting place where students feel comfortable and free to learn. The Lions Quest grant will allow the Wood County School System to progress toward this goal.”
To prepare educators to implement the program, more than 280 teachers will receive Lions Quest training on October 26, and 700 more will attend an orientation on the program. Participating Wood County Schools will begin implementing Lions Quest in early November.
The implementation of Lions Quest will help Wood County Schools meet the requirements of West Virginia Department of Education Policy 4373, a 2012 policy that established standards for student conduct and the development of safe and supportive schools free of drugs, violence and harassment.
Lions Quest’s programs focus on social and emotional learning, as well as bullying and drug prevention, service-learning, and creating a positive school climate for students and teachers. Social and emotional learning is a process in which young people develop the skills to effectively manage emotions, build positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
The three-year implementation is being funded by LCIF and NoVo Foundation, which awarded LCIF a $100,000 grant to support its Clinton Global Initiative commitment to expand Lions Quest across one U.S. school district. Wood County Schools was selected as LCIF’s district partner after a nationwide search.
“There is no greater service than nurturing youth and guiding young people toward healthy, responsible lives, which is the goal of Lions Quest. We believe that the partnership with Wood County Schools and NoVo Foundation can serve as a model for what can be achieved when schools, local communities, and philanthropic and service organizations work together toward that end,” said Wing-Kun Tam, LCIF Chairperson.
Highly effective social and emotional learning programs such as Lions Quest have been proven to decrease problem behaviors such as bullying and substance abuse while increasing academic achievement, pro-social behaviors, and connectedness to family and school.
The Wood County-LCIF partnership also furthers NoVo Foundation’s initiative to advance social and emotional learning in U.S. schools. According to Jennifer Buffett, President and Co-Chair of NoVo Foundation: “We are thrilled to partner with LCIF to scale Lions Quest in Wood County Schools. This important project is part of a national movement taking place to foster a system of education that will help our young people become caring, collaborative citizens.”
As part of the long-term vision for the partnership, LCIF will prepare affiliate trainers for Wood County Schools to help the district meet its future training needs and create sustainability for the program. Evaluations will be conducted over the span of the three-year Wood County implementation to determine the effectiveness of Lions Quest and its impact on teachers, students and school climate.
Lions Quest has trained more than 500,000 teachers and impacted more than 12 million students in 75 countries, making it one of the most widely used social and emotional learning programs in the world.
About Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF)
LCIF supports the large-scale humanitarian initiatives of members of Lions Clubs International, the world’s largest service club organization with 1.35 million members in 207 countries and regions. Serving youth has been a longstanding mission of LCIF. LCIF has awarded more than 200 grants for a cumulative total of more than US$13 million to expand or establish Lions Quest programs across 75 countries around the world, impacting more than 12 million youths. To learn more visit www.lcif.org or www.lions-quest.org.
About NoVo Foundation
NoVo Foundation is dedicated to catalyzing a transformation in global society, moving from a culture of domination to one of equality and partnership. We support the development of capacities in people—individually and collectively—to help create a caring and balanced world. We envision a world that operates on the principles of mutual respect, collaboration, and civic participation, thereby reversing the old paradigm predicated on hierarchy, violence, and the subordination of girls and women. To learn more, visit www.novofoundation.org.
Wood County Schools
Judith A. Johnson
Director of Curriculum and Instruction
304-420-9670, Ext. 123
Lions Clubs International Foundation
Manager, Initiative for Social and Emotional Learning