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Nonprofit View: Lions Quest program promotes positivity and support to increase kids’ well-being | COMMENTARY

Lions have a program to help school children with life skills. The program helps children develop into happy, confident individuals who make good choices for a successful future. This is even more important with the way COVID-19 has affected the lives and the education of today’s children.

Lions Quest, Lions Clubs International Foundation’s social and emotional learning program, teaches children decision-making skills, communication skills, and how to say no to drugs and alcohol.

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The Lions Quest program promotes positivity and support, to increase their well-being and academic achievement. It is an all-inclusive approach that helps students develop the skills to create good relationships with themselves and with others.

The concept behind Lions Quest dates to 1975 when teenager Rick Little set out to help other young people develop the skills and strength of character needed to succeed as adults. He conducted a survey of the issues that concerned high school students. Teachers suggested a teacher workshop to serve as a classroom model. Success with the high school level program led to the creation of middle and elementary school positive youth development programs.

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In 1984 the Lions Clubs International Foundation provided a grant to expand the program and then took formal ownership of the program in 2002. To date, the foundation has awarded more $20 million in grants to establish or expand Lions Quest programs across the United States and around the world.

Lions Quest is a skill-building program that uses free-standing lessons to promote social and emotional development for students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade. Lions Quest Skills for Growing is the elementary version of this program. The program provides 36 lessons per grade level, designed to be delivered in 30-45 minutes lessons.

Lions Quest is designed to establish caring, participatory, and well-managed learning environments.

The Lions Quest approach helps to establish learning conditions that young people need to be capable, healthy, and successful in all areas of life. The lessons and activities provide for the integration of cognitive and social-emotional curriculum competencies of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

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Lions Quest lessons are robust and follow an easy-to-understand structure, including discovery, applying, connecting, and practicing phases. The lessons provide teacher notes about pacing, modifying, applying across the curriculum, and a breakdown of the skills progression. Each lesson includes a planning column that provides at-a-glance information and support for easy facilitation. The program provides instructional practices to be used during the lesson including pair-share, cooperative group work, discussions, and reflection.

Lion Martin Bonura is the Lions Quest Coordinator for Lions District 22-W: Carroll, Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett Counties. If your school or community youth program is interested in learning more, contact Martin Bonura at join22wlions@gmail.com or by phone at 443-472-5456. More information is available at https://www.lions-quest.org.

Susan Bonura is a past president of the South Carroll Lioness Club.

The Carroll County Times has been publishing a regular column from local nonprofits since 2015, allowing them to share information about their organization and the issues facing it, as our editorial, typically on Mondays. Nonprofits play a critical role in our community and we have appreciated their participation in the Nonprofit View, which will discontinue after this week.

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