Seeley Lake Celebrates 8th Graders

By: Shannan Sproull, Missoula County Prevention Specialist

As we all know, Spring 2020 has changed the way we live, work and attend school for weeks. For graduating seniors – so many disappointments in so many ways, as seniors culminated the last weeks of their K-12 career. For 8th grade students, while possibly slightly less impactful – there were still many traditions and transitions that did not occur that impacted their own final weeks of K-8 life. 

Based on a number of conversations among prevention specialists in my region and across the state, I decided to reach out to the smaller K-8 schools in Missoula County to propose the idea of printing banners to support 8th graders. Smaller schools often don’t have extra funds for extras like this.  One school that welcomed this was Seeley Lake Elementary School.  

I worked with the school’s counselor (Toni) to discuss and develop how the banners might look. At my suggestion, she and the school secretary selected a specific attribute to each student that would be individual and meaningful. Toni then made arrangements with a local business to order the banners, and to top it off – the local newspaper wrote an article that brought attention to the banners!

This one act of helping a community celebrate their 8th graders resulted in touching the lives of those 8th graders – who were recognized individually and specifically – their parents, family and friends, the community at-large via newspaper article, staff members at the school, and a business owner! Yay!

In addition to my collaboration with Seeley Lake, my counterpart Kathleen Sheffield supported two of Lincoln County’s communities, Eureka and Troy, with banners as well…and of course, many Prevention Specialists across the state supported their communities during this transition time.

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