Sixth Grade Students at Haverford MS Learn to Ask for Help
HAVERTOWN- As part of the Haverford Middle Schools work in helping adolescents with the transition into adulthood, Developmental Guidance teacher, Kim Alexander has spent the month of January helping students identify ways to deal with trouble in their own lives or in the life of a friend. Ms. Alexander taught the entire 6th grade a series of lessons on recognizing the symptoms of depression and how to respond. Each student was given a bracelet with the acronym “NOW,” which stands for Notice, Offer Support, and Warn a trusted adult.
Haverford Middle School Principal Dan Horan commented, “It is an important part of Middle School to teach children how to ask for help. Kids are increasingly isolated. We build community at the Middle School not just for academic achievement but also for the students’ personal growth and health.”
Ms. Alexander covered topics such as bullying, depression, and unmanaged stress from home or school. The students used role play and discussion to practice applying NOW to different scenarios. Ms. Alexander talked about supportive listening as a way to Offer support and had the students identify a trusted adult in school and out of school. The classes discussed when to notify an adult.
Ms. Alexander has been at Haverford Middle School for over 10 years. This is the first year for the NOW curriculum which she developed. She said, “The program enables students to recognize serious situations and respond in a helpful way which could potentially save lives. Kids are more and more nervous to reach out to an adult and we want to help them see that there are adults in their lives that they can trust.”
Students will review the program again in the Spring.