Underclassman learn important survival tips


Shannon McCabe, Reporter

In Dean Smith’s Reading I class, underclassman are learning many survival tips ranging from CPR, to first aid, and many more.

Since the class focuses on reading, the topic does not matter. Smith said, “We used to go by the  workbook provided by, but it got boring after a while.” So, Smith found in the program, a student version of “The Worst Case Scenario” handbook. This was about surviving dangerous situations, so now the whole curriculum is based around surviving and helping others.  In the curriculum, students learn first aid, including CPR,  choking, strokes,  seizures, and poisoning. Self defense is also taught to allow students to avoid compromising situations and what to do if assaulted. Also, there is a water tip section on how to create a life vest out of pants, how to act when falling through ice, and how to get out of a sinking car. Through magazines, articles, and the Internet, Smith discussed everything form how to survive a tornado to an intruder in a house.

Smith found inspiration through an article about a woman and how she was caught in the rubble from a New Zealand earthquake in 2012. In the rubble, the woman contacted her parents through text and said her last words. Shortly after showing this to the class, Smith said, “We decided to write a letter of condolence to the parents of the girl.” As a class, students found contact information to the woman and her mother. They then wrote a letter to the mother given her their prayerful support. Smith said, “That made me realize that there were a lot of things out there to read that were more moving, more important, and more interesting than what we were getting in a Scholastic workbook.  That’s what got me started thinking about this approach in the first place.”

Smith’s goal in the class is to improve every students reading ability by two grade levels in one year. There are other goals in mind.  Smith said, “More importantly, if they can survive a precarious situation or better yet, help someone else survive and be able to provide the needed first aid, what better lesson is there than that?”  In this class students are gaining knowledge in school skills and overall life skills. The tips were found in “The Worst Case Scenario” book, previously mentioned, but also the use of article and magazines enhances the reading in students.

Most upperclassman are not offered these tips in classes. Anyone can take life-guarding and learn CPR and first aid, but the other tips are not obtained. Smith said, “I’m looking at possibly creating something similar for upperclassman, but I’m not sure how much I can talk about this yet.” So, there is the possibility for upperclassman to learn these techniques in the future. Also, there are certain classes outside of school that those students could take. Also, there is YouTube and many valuable online training sites that can help.

Overall, these skills are valuable ans students are all available to these resources through multiple sources.  Learning these tips can aid one through life because many never know whats going to happen. Any day a person can be assaulted, in a car accident, witness a stroke, seizure, or someone choking. Being able to aid those in need or oneself is the most valuable message in these lessons.

Here is a link to the New Zealand Earthquake that brainstormed the content of this class: http://www.today.com/id/41776710/ns/today-today_news/t/mommy-i-got-buried-texts-sent-nz-rubble/