School district takes unique approach to challenge students

By Arnold Wyrick
CAMPBELL HILL, IL (KFVS) - Bullying and being singled out can sometimes cause emotional problems for many kids, and sometimes their classmates can go too far.
One southern Illinois school district is trying to change that.
On Wednesday it was a day to share, to learn, to cry and to laugh for sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Trico Middle School.  It was also a day for change in the lives of those teenagers.
"They don't talk about what's going on with them.  They don't act like who they are.  They don't feel things they need to feel.  So in Challenge Day we give them a chance to be who they are," said Challenge Day Leader Jennifer Wilson.
For some of the students, that isn't always an easy thing to do.
"I was a little excited a little bit nervous because I don't like sharing my feelings, but I like it a lot. We've done a lot of things that I've gotten closer to a lot of people that I normally wouldn't of even talked too," said 8th Grader Kaitlyn Phoenix.
That's partly what Challenge Day is all about, teaching kids to take the time to learn about one another, and how to get along.
"It's going to help people be nicer to me and they'll probably treat each other better and people just care more," said 6th Grader Blair Coleman.
Sometimes showing you care means shedding a tear or a hug and by the end of the day, changing the way kids think about themselves, each other, their school and their lives.
"I think it's going to help us out to learn more about each other everyday if it works out right. And if we do it right we'll be able to change our school, like stop bullying and everything," said 8th Grader Savanna Nellis.
This is the second year that TRICO schools have challenged their students to change their lives and attitudes towards each other.  On Thursday the ninth graders get to be challenged in Campbell Hill.