Lions Quest boosts Oak Harbor middle schools

Middle school teachers do team-building exercises at Lions Quest, a program to teach middle school students life skills. - Rebecca Olson / Whidbey News-Times
Middle school teachers do team-building exercises at Lions Quest, a program to teach middle school students life skills.
— image credit: Rebecca Olson / Whidbey News-Times

Middle school students in Oak Harbor will get a boost in their life skills education thanks to a class sponsored by the Oak Harbor Lions Club.

Nearly 30 middle school teachers attended the voluntary class, Lions Quest, which took place Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at North Whidbey Middle School.

“Students can’t learn until all their needs are met, but not just needs like food and shelter. This class is about the needs we take for granted like needing to feel part of a group,” said Shane Evans, Oak Harbor Middle School principal.

The program, taught by national instructor Frances Portillo, is used in more than 27 countries. It shows teachers how to incorporate life skills into middle school language arts classes.

Skills include dealing with conflicts, choosing not to do drugs, self-respect, planning for the future and serving the community, said North Whidbey Middle School Principal Laura Aesoph.

The program also focuses on making classrooms safe and effective places to learn and encourages parents and the community to become involved, Aesoph said.

Lions Club President Bill Cheaqui called North Whidbey Middle School to ask if they’d be interested in the program after reading letters criticizing the schools in the Whidbey News-Times.

“The Lions Club said here’s a possible solution and said what they’d do to help. It’s easy for schools to get criticized but hard for someone to come up with a solution,” Portillo said.




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