Anti-Virus Youth Education Program Coming to Southern

Anti-Virus Youth Education Program

Anti-Virus Youth Education Program Coming to Southern 


   SALINEVILLE- Southern Local Jr. High School is bringing back one character-building program to help students become well-rounded community members.


   Kristy Sampson, district grants manager, said the Anti-Virus Youth Education program will be available within weeks to help develop positive traits. This is the second time Southern Local has provided the Anti-Virus program after COVID-19 put previous plans on the backburner.


   “We first implemented it in the junior high levels two years ago and partnered with a youth group facilitator in our community. Due to COVID and the inconsistency of being in and out of school, the programming wasn't offered the past few years. Now that we are back in school, we felt it was important to re-implement the lessons at the junior high level,” Sampson added. “Our guidance department stepped up to facilitate the lessons this year and then we will develop a multi-year and multi-level of implementation into our older grade levels to reinforce what they have learned and applied in junior high. “


   She said a donor funded the program for all Columbiana County schools and a representative of Leaders Edge, which distributes it, recently contacted her. Sampson then began working with school counselors Kenadee Pezzano and Alannah Kutan and the idea is to begin implementing weekly sessions later this spring. 


   Anti-Virus is described as a non-profit character development program for fourth-grade and middle school students across the country with emphasis on mentoring youth to live a life based on good character. The curriculum focuses on seven main character traits: ambition, responsibility, hard work, emotions, restraint, common sense and generosity. The goal is to help youth develop character and competency in life and leadership so they can become productive citizens and leaders in their communities.


   “The program is geared towards junior high students and the purpose is to increase students’ awareness of character traits that limit their personal development and application of character traits that increase personal development,” Sampson added. “It is being piloted this May and then the implementation plan for the 2022-23 school year will be finalized prior to school starting in August. The program is eight or nine lessons that are approximately 30 minutes each, so it is something that could be facilitated during nine weeks.”


   By the conclusion, students will learn how to live with resiliency, combat bullying, develop a positive image, make good choices, develop healthy relationships and navigate social and emotional difficulties.


   “It’s social-emotional learning for junior high students,” Pezzano commented. “It’s going to be implemented by me and Ms. Kutan at the end of this year and we’ll possibly have a mentor for the Anti-Virus program. We can offer it in-house and they can also have someone come in.”