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#413358 - 08/06/11 10:32 AM LIONS QUEST TRAINING UNDERWAY
Marty Offline
The Belize Lions Club is this week hosting their 6th annual Lion’s Quest workshop for teachers. Over eighteen teachers from primary and secondary schools and Lion members from around the country are taking part in a life skills workshop at the Lions Center in Belize City. Lion Bobby Lopez is the Country Director of the Lion’s Quest Program.

Bobby Lopez – Country Director, Lion’s Quest
“It has grown about ten schools every year so we are now in our sixth year with about 60 schools in the program and probably impacting somewhere around 20 and 25 in all of those schools. The program is very comprehensive it comes with teacher training, it also comes with the materials that the teachers will need once they are in a classroom and it comes with a student book which is called Changes and Challenges and it comes with a parent book so that parents understand the changes that our children are going through at that adolescent age, that 12, 13, 14, the hormone imbalances, our children go through a very difficult time and this helps the parent to understand and the teachers to work with those changes but at the same time building the values and decision making skills our children need so that when they are faced with a situation to try drugs they won’t do it. It is not just saying no to drugs it is having that skill within them to say I know what it does to me, I don’t need it, I can have fun without drugs and alcohol, same with any social ill. We believe that we need to start with the next generation. If we start putting in place these values and skills in our children they will grow up to make good decisions so that when we get old the leaders will be leaders of integrity, will be leaders who will carry this country forward and really make us proud.”

Trainer for the Lions Quest program Nelida Muschamp says the project is designed to create change in our young people.

Nelida Muschamp – Trainer, Lions Quest program
“The program focuses on empowering adults, we have teachers, we have counselors, we have group leaders in the workshop and we are empowering them with tools to deal with young people. We to be able to have young people who are strong with good characters, we want to develop skills, emotional and social skills within children and by empowering people who deal with young children we will be getting that done. We are teaching our program, the workshop is based on research based methodologies. When they come here one of our main focus is creating a supporting environment for our children. They are learning how children can feel valued and loved within a classroom and if we prepare that environment for our children, we will be able to have them come into school every day we will be able to decrease misbehavior within the classroom. Along with having this caring environment we are teaching them about social and emotional skills. These will be able to empower our young children to make positive decisions. We know that we have crime and violence, peer pressure, the high prevalence of AIDS and other STDs within our country and we are preparing the children to face those issues with skills we are offering in this program.”

This morning's workshop was the second of seven to be held across the country in the month of August. A total of sixty schools, twenty high schools and forty primary schools are involved in the program. And the benefits of the program are already being felt in schools that have integrated the lessons into their curriculum.


#413360 - 08/06/11 10:33 AM Re: LIONS QUEST TRAINING UNDERWAY [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Lions Quest Program teaches life skills

The Lions Quest was piloted in Belize some six years ago and to date the program has been introduced to over sixty primary and high schools country-wide. Over fifteen teachers took part in the second of seven workshops that will be held in Belize City. The two day event focused on life skills training provided by the Quality Assurance Development Services Unit. Bobby Lopez, the Director of the Lions Quest Program says that the workshop is contemporary in its approach.

Bobby Lopez, Country Director, Lions Quest

Bobby Lopez

“Everything they do during the two day workshop is actually what the teacher will do when they’re in the class. In other words, it’s not your conventional type where you sit behind each other in a desk, no this is set up in a horseshoe, you break up into group you discuss the topic and the same class reports to the whole class so it’s very interactive and children get to share ideas and to understand the problems and discuss it among themselves and come up with solutions.”

Andrea Polanco

“The things you’re learning are definitely things that you can take back to Trinity Methodist and apply there?”

Miriam Gilharry

Miriam Gilharry, Teacher, Trinity Methodist School

“Yes ma’m, yes ma’m. So far we’ve been having whew, I mean it’s overwhelming yuh know it’s interesting. Yesterday was our first day and I learnt so much because even though I’ve been teaching for twenty four years they always tell yuh yuh need to learn more. And certain things like what we did a while ago, whereby it says that you should never tell the children like for role model you should never put them to do the negative role.”

Bobby Lopez

“Whenever a teacher is trained, there’s what’s called a Teacher’s curriculum package and it has everything the teacher needs to teach the program. A lot of the times in Life Skills teachers don’t have a structure or the materials they need for whatever topic you might be looking at, kindness, respect, honestly, responsibility. So this covers all of that and but including there’s a manual that the student gets called ‘Challenges and Changes’ and there’s also manual for the parents called ‘The Surprising Years’ which helps parents to understand the changes their children are going through as they go into those adolescent years and so its meant, the program is really meant to bring the family back into the class, the community and the form of the Lions and wider community to get the village to raise the child.”

Petie Palaza, San Pedro Lions Club

Petie Palaza

“We are participating because we want to bring it to more of the schools out in the outer islands. At the moment San Pedro has one school that has the Quest Program and we’re trying to integrate more of the schools, so me as a Lions Member I’m trying to bring information back to the den so we can present it to the organization to see how we can further introduce it into the other schools.”

If you like to know more about the Lions Quest Program you can contact the Lions Club in your district.

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