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February 12, 2016

Second annual Cadet Connect Day focuses on responsible risk-taking
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Over 100 students from Hilton High School and 200 students from Merton Williams Middle School volunteered to be part of this year’s Cadet Connect, an opportunity for older students to mentor and form relationships with students at the three elementary schools.

The program, in its second year, is a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) initiative giving older and younger students the opportunity to work together on the IB approaches to learning skills: thinking, communication, social skills, self-management and research. The focus of this year’s Cadet Connect, held on Friday, Feb. 12, was responsible risk-taking, one of the 10 attributes in the IB learner profile.

The WAVE broadcast media students at the high school created a video to introduce the little cadets to examples of responsible risk-taking. The big cadets then interviewed the little cadets to get to know them better and worked with them on puzzle pieces that they could decorate any way they wanted to represent themselves. Other activities included playing games, making friendship bracelets and answering questions about what it’s like to be a student at the middle school or high school.

Ashley Siegel, an 11th grader, decided to participate in Cadet Connect for a second year. “I like helping the little kids and think it’s cool for them to be able to interact with the middle school and high school kids,” she said. “This is one way to show them how they can create their own goals for the future.”

Kylie Emrich, a fifth grader in Jennifer Tyler’s class at Village Elementary, said she had fun learning more about responsible risk-taking. “I did the announcements for a whole week and was nervous at first, but got used to it. So I think I’m a risk taker too,” she said.

In the fall, also as part of Cadet Connect, juniors and seniors worked with freshmen facilitating discussions about the power of the words used at Hilton High School by all students and staff. Topics included cyberbullying, social media and bullying. “The students exemplified the IB trait of responsible risk taking by being role models and mentors for the younger students,” said Erin Schneider, assistant principal at Hilton High School.

Both the high school and middle school students and elementary staff will have the opportunity to complete surveys so the Cadet Connect initiative can be built upon every year.