'Why Try' program teaches social-emotional health to South Valley students

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Saturday, November 19, 2022
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The "Why Try" program teaches students about emotional health and social skills. The curriculum is offered once a week, usually during PE class.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A curriculum in the South Valley is putting a new spin on PE class.

"We get up, usually start with an activity or question to get the kids going," said TCOE Prevention Program Specialist Lauren Pearce. "It's just very fun and interactive."

At Oak Valley Elementary School, young learners are getting an early introduction to valuable lessons.

"How to deal with peer pressure, impulse control, respect and obedience for laws and rules that are put into their lives," explained Program Manager KC Pearce.

The "Why Try" program teaches students about emotional health and social skills. The curriculum is offered once a week, usually during PE class.

"This is completely different," said Oak Valley Elementary School Teacher Debbie Almeida. "We've had professional development but nothing so interactive and the kids are really clinging to it."

With classes offered for students from 4th grade through high school, there's something for all ages.

"This class is actually pretty fun because we get to do exciting games," said 4th Grade Student Aiden Ferrumpau. "I've learned not to label someone a bad label."

"We can't always be there to help guide them through those situations, but if we instill these aspect of guidance through these lessons, they'll be better equipped to be successful," added Pearce.

The program is offered at nearly 30 South Valley Schools. While "Why Try" has been around internationally for years, this is the first time it's been utilized in the US.