Camp Fire Northwest Ohio has been providing Self Reliance Programming in the Tiffin City Schools since spring 2009.
Tiffin City Schools requested a pairing of the programming with the classroom needs. The programs' curriculum works with that of the teachers and reinforces what students already are learning.
The "I Can-Do-It" program reaches all third-grade students. This program helps children learn self-help skills such as choosing healthy foods, being weather ready, being safe in public, escaping a fire, handling conflicts and being safe and responsible.
Sue Lewis, assistant director at Camp Glen, uses a curriculum to teach children about these topics.
"These programs bring out positive reactions and allow students to take the skills that they learn and use them in the real world," Lewis said.
The "I Can-Do-It" program lasts six weeks with one session a week. Each session, students learn a new skill set and take what they learn home with them. The lessons Lewis teaches include role-playing exercises and more hands-on activities.
This program is a fun way for students to learn, Tiffany Dicker, third-grade teacher at Krout Elementary, said.
"The kids learn skills on how to solve problems and find more than one way to solve that problem," Dicker said.
Other programs include "Gift Giving" and "I'm Peer Proof," that work with fifth graders.
"Gift Giving" is a service-learning program that helps students learn and develop through participation in developing a community service project. The curriculum centers on generation ideas, gathering information, and planning and organizing a project to help meet the needs of the community.
"I'm Peer Proof" is designed to teach students how to resist negative peer pressure and maintain positive friendships.
"Students in extreme situations have the ability to say 'no' and to be ready and safe when those situations arise," Lewis said.
Camp Fire uses an evaluation developed by the National Camp Fire office upon the completion of every self-reliance program that is offered.
The self-reliance programs are part of National Camp Fire's curriculum developed for local Camp Fire organizations to help address local needs. Camp Fire Northwest Ohio has been providing self-reliance programs for years in Findlay, Fostoria, and Hancock County schools.
In 2009, the program was expanded by offering it to the Tiffin City Schools. The Tiffin City Schools identified classrooms with needs that were then paired with the programs.
"We started with four classrooms which were identified by school staff as having 'at-risk' students," said Patty Coffman, public relations coordinator for Camp Fire Northwest Ohio.
"In subsequent years, we have expanded the program per teachers' requests and pursued funding to fulfill those requests," she said.
As the program has expanded, there has been overwhelming support by many partners in the Tiffin community, Coffman said.
The three significant funders this year are Tiffin Charitable Foundation, donating $4,000; National Machinery Foundation, donating $3,000; and Webster Foundation, donating $3,000. Other funders include BA Seitz Fund. Tiffin-Seneca UW Designated Funds. Old Fort Bank. Tiffin Optimist Club and Camp Fire Northwest Ohio. The programs for the 2012-13 school year will reach 245 third-grade students and 232 fifth-grade students in the Tiffin City Schools.
"These programs offer great hands-on activities and students gain a lot from them," said Lynn Hull, third-grade teacher at Krout.
"I have participated in these programs for two years and I love it," Hull said. "Students gain the life skills that they need and Mrs. Lewis does a wonderful job teaching the kids."
Anyone wishing to contribute can do so by contacting Coffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.