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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Actors share secrets to ‘Ease the Tease’

Four talented actors from Chicago’s award-winning Imagination Theater brought their show, “Ease the Tease,” to several Coeur d’Alene elementary schools last week, performing 15 shows in just four days. “Ease the Tease” teaches children how to deal with hurtful teasing and how to recognize the difference between hurtful and fun teasing.

The Kootenai-Benewah Medical Alliance, a local organization of physician spouses, brought the performers to town. KBMA teams with the American Medical Association Alliance to identify and address public health issues in our area. This year they are devoting their efforts toward SAVE, Stop America’s Violence Everywhere, and that includes schools.

Actors Candace Allen, Ryan Tweedy, Vayram Nyadroh and Mark Larson, were enjoying their first time in Coeur d’Alene even though they were working at a frantic pace. They said the kids were very receptive to their fast-paced show. They addressed all manners of teasing, whether it was being teased for wearing glasses, stuttering, or having buckteeth or a different name.

What do kids get teased about, they asked? They get teased for just being different.

In the troupe’s first sketch, a boy is being teased for his lack of skill in basketball. The actors asked the assembled students from Sorensen and Fernan elementary schools, who were gathered at Fernan, what he could do. Several suggestions were offered, such as walk away, ignore the teasing, or just say, “Please stop calling me names.”

Sorensen fourth-grader Luz Chase offered that the person being teased could compliment the teaser on their ability. She was put into the skit, complimenting the tormentor, played by Tweedy, on his basketball ability, and they realize that this kid isn’t so bad.

In another skit, Nyadroh is being teased by Allen about her smelly egg salad sandwich. Larson plays along so he can fit in. They offer a better solution, which is not to make a big deal out of it. If she wants to eat an egg salad sandwich, so what?

The actors stressed that it is never OK to hit, and acted out an example of friendly teasing, which is when everyone is having a good time.

In another scene, Allen is being teased in art class, because there is paint on her back side and she doesn’t know it. Sorensen fourth-grader RaqualAndrews was brought into the act to help demonstrate using an “I” message, which is to tell the person how she felt. She told them she felt really upset and wished they had told her about the paint.

Matt Wilson, a Fernan third-grader, was a natural in his scene. His story was based on a high school boy who was teased about his very small ears. Using an “I” message, he told Tweedy exactly how he felt. Matt, who said he likes to act, was a natural.

All seven of the students’ strategies, answering with a compliment, agreeing with the facts, “I” messages, ignoring, using self-talk such as, “I’m smart and I can handle this,” saying “so,” and taking the teasing as a compliment, were acted out during the performance. The show offered useful strategies to deal with teasing, all in an entertaining environment.

PF at leadership forum

Post Falls High junior Kari Wegner recently attended the National Youth Leadership Forum on Law in Washington, D.C. She joined approximately 350 students from across the United States to learn from examples set by a variety of attorneys and court officials. Wegner is interested in children’s advocacy law. She has lettered in academics in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 school years, and is a member of Who’s Who Among American High School Students 2004 and the National Honor Roll of High School Students 2004. She is a two-year member of the National Honor Society and is active in her church and other high school organizations.

Timberlake student attends youth rally

Timberlake High School student Alisha Puckett recently participated in the Kootenai Electric Youth Rally on the campus of Albertson College in Caldwell, Idaho. She joined approximately 80 other students from Idaho, Oregon and Alaska as they competed for scholarships and the opportunity to represent Kootenai Electric Cooperative at the national rally in Washington, D.C.

Puckett was awarded a $500 scholarship and was voted Miss Congeniality by her peers. She was elected to return next summer to the youth rally as a director. She will also represent Kootenai Electric in Washington, D.C., at the national rally next summer.

Lakelands’ Students of the Month

Lakeland High School has announced Students of the Month for September. They are:

Sophomore Bubba Bartlett, who enjoys sports, swimming and playing video games. He plans to attend college after finishing high school.

Junior Kris Dole, who enjoys snowmobiling, riding ATVs, and all other outdoor motorized sports. He plans to attend the University of Idaho and study engineering.

Senior Beau La Bolle, who spends his free time racing motorcycles, working on cars and hanging out with friends. He plans to attend Chandlar-Gilbert Community College in Arizona to study aviation.

Reading to Head Start kids

Employees of Verizon will read to Head Start kids today at 10:30 a.m. at the Harding Family Center, 15th and Wallace, and give away children’s books. For more information, call 666-6762.

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