Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to School BBQ a Great Success!

On August 18, 2011 the Van Buren County School District, SAFE Coalition, Keosauqua Chamber, and Keosauqua Rotary held a Back to School BBQ at the Van Buren Middle/High School. During the BBQ parents and students were able to register for the school year; tour the newly remodeled building; meet the teachers, staff and administration; attend presentations; win door prizes and eat some great food. There were approximately 200 parents and students in attendance for this great event. Door prizes given away included a boy’s bike (donated by Lee McIntosh), a Flip Camera (donated by the SAFE Coalition) and Pizza Gift Certificates (donated by Circle B).

The presentations held during the BBQ were on Bullying: parents/students rights when being bullied and the code of conduct/ Warrior Pure Performance. The bullying presentation was put on by Nate Munson, the Executive Director of Iowa Safe Schools. Iowa Safe Schools is a coalition of educators, civil rights and LGBT advocates in partnership with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Nate is a graduate of Clarke College and his previous experience includes work with individuals with mental and physical disabilities, diversity programs and political campaigns. Since joining Iowa Safe Schools in May 2007 Nate has become known as a statewide leader on bullying and LGBT youth development. The presentation addressed parents and students rights when a student is being physically/cyber/verbally bullied by other students. There were 26 parents and 32 students who attended.

The “Code of Conduct/Warrior Pure Performance” presentation was put on by Greg Jones, Van Buren Community Schools Middle School Administrator/Activities Director and Tonja Jirak, Stop Grant Director. There were approximately 12 parents and 24 students in attendance at this presentation. They outlined the new Van Buren Community Schools Code of Conduct and described the plan for the commitment of the school district to a Warrior Pure Performance program. The core of these policies is to do the following:
Encourage students to perform their best and to take pride in that performance.
Help students realize how important it is to be at their best both physically and mentally and to be committed to be alcohol, tobacco and drug free.
Help the youth and parents to develop a sense of character, dignity and civility that speaks highly of the school and community.
Remind all to respect our opponents and acknowledge them for striving to do their best.
Remind parents to be aware of where your child is spending their after game time – who they are with and what they are doing. Support your student by providing alcohol and drug free settings.
Remind the parents to respect the task the coaches face as teachers of performance and character, and support them as they strive to educate the youth.
Remind the parents to be a “team fan”, not a “my child” fan.
Remind the parents to be an active and vigilant parent committed to Warrior Pure Performance.

The event proved to be a fun and successful evening for all in attendance! If you are interested in information on Bullying: Parent/Student Rights or the New VBCSD Code of Conduct please contact the SAFE Coalition at or 319-293-6412. You can check out what the coalition is about and is doing on our website -; on our blog -; or on Facebook - Van Buren County SAFE Coalition.

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