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JKB teaches 8th graders basic skills of high school life

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The J. Kyle Braid Foundation (JKB) hosted a conference with Hinsdale Middle School at the end of October, teaching eighth graders basic skills to get prepared for high school.

JKB visited the middle school multiple times in the past years, but focused this year’s visit on explaining the basic skills of their foundation: refusal skills, helping skills, negotiation skills, and conflict resolution skills.

“The main focus at HMS was the helping skill. We teach the students how to assist others who are having a tough time, be a good friend, look out for others, and have effective communication,” said Bryan Bu, junior.

During the conference, the students were divided into groups and performed skits that related to the difficult situations they could encounter in high school. Some of the situations dealt with things like bullying or alcohol.

“One group had to perform a skit about bullying and they hit every spot of the performance. We didn’t really have to explain the situation; they just got it and really understood how to say no to the situation, “ said Genna Heidkamp, senior.

Besides meeting with middle schools, JKB has been hosting a drive for soldiers in Afghanistan, collecting items such as tissues boxes and baby wipes.

“Basically, various math classes volunteer to sponsor soldiers in a platoon, and we encourage the classes to write letters to soldiers. Especially since my cousin is in the front line at Afghanistan, it would be easy to send them and they would really appreciate it,” Heidkamp said.

“It’s very rewarding, since you get to personally connect with the soldier you’re helping. It’s also a great opportunity to show respect and give thanks for those who serve our country,” Bu said.

When JKB is not attending events at other schools, or sponsoring drives, they try to improve the school environment as a whole.

Heidkamp said, “We perform with the Conflict Resolution Team and focus a lot more on service, especially when we volunteer at PADS one Sunday morning every month. We are doing a penny war during turnabout week, and really just teach people about the basic skills to survive high school.”

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The news site of Hinsdale Central High School
JKB teaches 8th graders basic skills of high school life