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Students sharpen social skills

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Kids learn fitness, leadership through JLC camp

By Kelly Cantrall

Students in the newly developed Junior Leadership Corps kept their skills up-to-date with a two-week summer camp through their schools.

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The JLC program at North and J.T. Alton middle schools had a camp for the students this week and last that continues the mission of the program to prepare students for the future and to develop their leadership abilities.

Students gathered at North Park Elementary School to take classes in anger management, self-esteem development and bullying prevention, along with taking trips to places such as the Patton Museum. The camp helped improve the social development for incoming eighth-grader Za’lik Coates.

“I’ve learned how to interact with more people that I never thought I could,” Coates said.

The children learned about physical fitness on Monday and Tuesday with Ed Thomas, leader of physical fitness for the nationwide JLC program, Project PASS.

Thomas worked with drill sergeants at Fort Knox who then taught the students exercise and motor fitness techniques. Photos from their lessons will be used as an exercise informational guide, and the students will make their own exercise videos as well.

Thomas said that along with exercise, students will learn to move well, which is something they should continue to work on long after they leave the camp.

“Learning to move well is a lifetime endeavor,” he said.

Thomas said the physical well-being of students is tied to their academic performance, so the fitness component to the camp and to JLC at large is crucial.

“It’s all intertwined,” he said.

Rudy Garcia, director for community involvement for Project PASS, said all of the PASS sites were supposed to have a summer camp until funding fell through. Hardin County kept its camp through donations from the Lions Club and the Radcliff Walmart, he said. It was important to him to keep the camp because the lesson the JLC students get in school need to continue through the summer.

“We can keep them engaged in academics, we can keep them engaged in thinking,” Garcia said.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.