The Leland & Gray Above the Influence students spent time with the Community Hope & Action group of Townshend this week to discuss community assets as well as concerns. Students spent almost all of March preparing to facilitate this dialogue and were able to gather lots of input from Hope & Action members. Over coffee and donuts, the group brainstormed and created a comprehensive list of all the great things our community has to offer. These included Grace Cottage, the West Townshend Community Project, the Leland & Gray theater program, churches, the Food Shelf, and many many more!


This was followed by a short presentation of concerns that students had identified during a previous in-school dialogue. These included two important statistics from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey: “51% of high school students in the WCSU think peer consumption of alcohol is OK” and “more than half of students don’t believe they matter to their community”. The group brainstormed potential risk factors and solutions for each issue. Students made notes and plan to begin addressing such issues in the spring and fall. ATI students and advisor, Kate Venne, extend their thanks to Hope & Action members for welcoming them and for their commitment to bettering our small but mighty community!


This dialogue came as a result of the Getting to Y training that ATI students received this fall. The Getting to Y program helps students learn to interpret their own Youth Risk Behavior Survey results (a survey taken every 2 years by students state-wide) and bring meaning to them by having dialogue with fellow students and community members.

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