On Wednesday, October 14, the three CADRE groups of the county came together on Google Meet to hold their 1st County-wide meeting of the year.
This year, GHS CADRE members didn’t get to experience their county-wide meetings like they usually do. Last year they had their meeting at Nuckels Hall in the Tazewell County Fairgrounds. They played ice-breakers to help students mingle with people from other schools. This year, there weren’t any icebreakers.
“What’s terrible about online meetings,” said Darrah Young (12, second year CADRE member) “is that you don’t get to socialize with people that aren’t at your school. It’s easier to talk to people in person instead of virtually where there isn’t a chance of interrupting someone”
An important part of CADRE is that members get to mentor 5th graders at their local elementary schools. In previous years, they would have their county-wide meetings then go to their assigned schools.
“Each 5th grade classroom was assigned six students,” said Mrs. Metcalfe (GHS CADRE sponsor). They would plan an activity and tie it in with bullying or drug awareness.”
This year, CADRE is unable to mentor these students in person. They’ve sent videos to each classroom to make up for their absence. Last year they would do activities in an attempt to grow relationships with the kids. “On Halloween,” said Mrs. Metcalfe, ‘they made monster puppets out of brown paper bags.”
One thing lacking this year is communication. CADRE members are unable to get the one-on-one they usually do with students. “You don’t realize the amount of impact the 5th grade students have on you,” Darrah Young said. “They’re so young, innocent, and lively. You just don’t get that in high school.”
Last year’s fifth grader didn’t get their DARE Jamboree due to the unexpected school shut down. The DARE Jamboree is held at Richlands at the football stadium. Students play games and prizes are announced for the contests they held throughout the year. “It’s a day for us to hangout with the kids and have the opportunity to be childish because we aren’t around our teachers as much.” Darrah Young said.
“As far as the 5th graders this year, I’m planning on the same Jamboree we normally have at fairgrounds in Tazewell,” said Officer Landon Hieatt (DARE Officer). “But if the positive COVID cases are too high still then we possibly can do some smaller ones at each school, or maybe school areas such as Richlands and Cedar Bluff, Tazewell and Abbs Valley, and then Graham.”
Officer Hieatt plans to try to make it up to the current 6th graders that didn’t get their DARE Jamboree last year. “I would like to go to each middle school and have a field day/ jamboree with them,” said Hieatt.
With COVID-19, some things have become somewhat difficult. However, CADRE is going to do as much as they can.