Health, Well­ness Club En­cour­ages Kind­ness

The Oakdale Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By TERESA HAM­MOND tham­mond@oak­dale­leader.com

Stu­dents of Oak­dale High School are putting a pos­i­tive spin on the anti-bul­ly­ing move­ment.

Three sim­ple words, “Dude Be Nice,” have in­spired a team of stu­dents to ex­pand kind­ness and in­clu­sion through­out the Mus­tang stu­dent body.

“It’s a cam­paign of non-bul­ly­ing and pos­i­tiv­ity,” Erika Ni­chols said.

Ni­chols, along with fel­low lead­er­ship class­mates Jodie Whit­ley, Tay­lor Ste­wart and Chloe Liekhus, make up the Ex­ec­u­tive Board of the Health and Well­ness Club. It’s a club that first be­gan in 2017, ba­si­cally as a re­place­ment for the an­ti­to­bacco PHAST – Pro­mot­ing Health And Slam­ming To­bacco – Club on cam­pus.

Ac­cord­ing to the stu­dents, the lead­er­ship club first pre­sented the stu­dent body with a “Dude Be Nice” week two years ago. The event fo­cused on the pos­i­tive ef­fects and the “do’s” ver­sus the “don’t” ap­proach of the pre­vi­ous club and not­ing it as a way of pos­i­tive en­cour­age­ment of what to do right.

“The four of us just re­ally loved the idea,” Liekhus said of the club and its found­ing ex­ec­u­tive board.

“Our main fo­cus is to be pos­i­tive and pos­i­tive ac­tions in­stead of don’t, don’t, don’t,” Whit­ley said of the club’s over­all mis­sion. “I think peo­ple love it.”

This year, the club plans to host ran­dom Dude Be Nice events each month, as well as the weekly event

later in the spring. The year’s ac­tiv­i­ties were kicked off most re­cently with a ‘take a friend to lunch’ day, where a stu­dent in­vites a new friend to share lunch with them.

“The whole goal is for them to ex­pand and meet new peo­ple,” Ste­wart said of the planned Dude Be Nice ac­tiv­i­ties. “To in­ter­act with kids who maybe don’t get that in­ter­ac­tion and be more in­clu­sive.”

The group noted the re­sponse from the stu­dent body the first year, was over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive.

“The ini­tial re­ac­tion from our first year of Dude Be Nice, was peo­ple were ex­cited and they ac­tu­ally cared,” Whit­ley added.

In ad­di­tion to host­ing theme days and events through­out the year, the club also of­fers in­cen­tives and give­aways such as ‘DBN’ shirts to en­cour­age stu­dent in­volve­ment.

Dude Be Nice is a na­tional move­ment, cre­ated by a me­dia com­pany fo­cused on cre­at­ing a more con­scious cul­ture.

TERESA HAM­MOND/THE LEADER

Mem­bers of the Oak­dale High School Health and Well­ness Ex­ec­u­tive Board this year are Jodie Whit­ley, Pres­i­dent; Chloe Liekus, Vice-Pres­i­dent; Tay­lor Ste­wart, Sec­re­tary; and Erika Ni­chols, Trea­surer.

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