Challenge Day is an Anti-Bullying program designed to empower students to create a school-wide culture of kindness.
Bullying, teasing, exclusion, isolation—these are commonplace in our schools, but their effects can be devastating: poor grades, low self-esteem, truancy, depression, substance abuse, violence, and even suicide. The MLK Diversity Committee (a collaboration between the Jackson County Chamber, the Jackson County ISD, the Jackson Human Relations Commission, and other community partners) works with Jackson county middle schools to empower students to be agents of positive change, and to help students and staff create schools in which kindness, respect and support are the norm.
This Jackson County Middle School Challenge project draws on a one-day experiential workshop called Challenge Day (see www.ChallengeDay.org) but goes much further. Participating students are empowered to make a change in their community and to help reduce the bullying, violence and alienation students face from peers. The one-day workshop teaches students a safe means for emotional expression, as well as understanding and acceptance of peers, conflict resolution skills, self-awareness, self-acceptance, and tools to positively impact other students’ behaviors. During November 2019, each middle school program in Jackson County was offered approximately 40 free student “slots” to participate in a Challenge Day. Sixteen public, charter and private middle school programs were able to participate. (Approximately 700 students are invited each year).
More than 200 adult community volunteers and staff from Integro, LLC are needed to make the project a success. Jackson College (venue and lunches) and Western Schools (venue and lunches) hosted our Challenge Days and provided additional in-kind support.
2021 Challenge Day dates will be decided in late February 2021. You must be a registered student or facilitator to attend.
Anyone interested in supporting the project is encouraged to call the Chamber at 517-782-8221.
Schools who participate:
Columbia, Concord, DaVinci, East Jackson, Grass Lake, Hanover Horton, Lumen Christi, JPEC, Michigan Center, Paragon, Middle School at Parkside and 4th Street, Napoleon, Northwest, Springport, Vandercook and Western.
Jackson Community Foundation, Proceeds from 2019 MLK Diversity Breakfast, AARP Michigan George & Mary Elizabeth Smith, Jeff Dillon, Culver’s Donation Boxes, Challenge Day Video Sponsor – Comcast, Tembras Gardner Family Foundation, Springport Public Schools, Vandercook Lake Public Schools, Donita Bently, Judith Parros, United Way
2019 “In-Kind” Contributors:
Jackson College (Venue and Lunches), Western School District (Venue and Discounted Lunches), Integro, LLC (Counseling Services), Challenge Day National, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Jackson County Intermediate School District, Culver’s