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Challenge Day to return to Vashon

Challenge Day, an effort to strengthen the high school community by spotlighting the harmful impact of cliques and bullying, will return to Vashon High School Dec. 12 and 13.

Organizer Robin Blair, chair of the Vashon Alliance to Reduce Substance Abuse (VARSA), hopes to get 250 students and 50 community members to attend the event — with half attending one day and the other half attending the next. In March, Challenge Day — an award-winning, day-long experiential program — came to Vashon. About 85 students and adults attended.

Total costs for the two day-long events is $7,400, she said, which covers the costs of bringing staff from the California-based nonprofit to Vashon. So far, she said, she’s raised $6,800 — with support coming from VARSA, the Vashon Healthy Community Network, Seeds4Success and individuals. Those who wish to support the project can contribute $50 — enough to cover the costs of one student, Blair said.

The program uses a series of games and trust-building exercises to break down walls of separation and create new levels of empathy and respect, according to its website.

Blair said she hopes it will be effective on Vashon, where bullying and violence are not pronounced but where many still fail to appreciate one another’s differences.

“My hope is that Challenge Day will help this group of kids see how alike we are and that our differences are our gift and that we’re a better community ... if we value each others’ differences,” she said.

To support Challenge Day, write a check to VHS, with “Challenge Day” in the memo section, and drop it off  at the VHS office or mail it to Blair at 17511 100th Ave. S.W., No. 1, Vashon, 98070.

 

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