TEA, S.D. (KELO) — Seventh graders in Tea are getting up, close and personal with each other this week thanks to Challenge Day. The special event funded by the Sioux Empire United Way is meant to improve self-esteem and cut down on bullying.
For an entire day, these students and their adult volunteers will be here, dancing and sharing their hearts in the Tea Area Middle School gym.
“It’s an event that helps bring inclusion to the students. A time for them to drop their water line and get real,” School counselor Anna Eidem said.
Eidem says the morning is spent getting awkward with each other while the afternoon features more deep conversations led by the Challenge Day coordinators.
“We talk about how most of what we see when we see others is just the tip of the iceberg. So we want to talk about what others might not know about you,” Eidem said.
Seventh-grader Isaac Bullis has been waiting to experience this anti-bullying program for a while.
“Even I have judged some people and maybe this will change the way that it goes,” Bullis said.
Bullis says, in the time of social media, people don’t invest that much time in each other and this might change some of that.
“People are talking to their online friends and not actually speaking to people face-to-face when that kind of contact is needed,” Bullis said.
He says coming together is important and standing up for each other in times of need can make a big difference.
“You can do something to change the world,” Bullis said.
Tea Area Middle School is one of eight schools in southeast South Dakota getting to experience a Challenge Day this year.