LifeSkills Training Class is Huge Success 


The cafeteria at Demopolis Middle School was buzzing with excitement on January 29, 2009 when 197 sixth graders, their parents, and special guests awaited the results of a poster and essay contest that marked the completion of the 6-week program for the students.

Initiated at the school two years ago, the LifeSkills Training Class is a joint venture between the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority's GROWestAL Division, the Demopolis City School System, the Theo Ratliff Activity Center and the Alabama Department of Public Health. The program is made possible by a grant from the Alabama Department of Public Health. The program is designed to give the youngsters the proper tools to not only "Say No" when offered drugs, alcohol or cigarettes, but to excel in every aspect of their every day lives.

Instructors for the program are Loretta Wilson and Zina Wiggins. DMS teachers assisting were Patricia Bolden and Deborah Brown.

The hour long program featured musical selections by the Demopolis Middle School Choir, as well as an inspiring keynote address by Judge Marvin Wiggins in which he called each child present to find their special talent and use it to the best of their abilities. He urged them to never give up in the face of adversity and reminded everyone present that each individual determines whether they will succeed or fail in life.

The children were instructed to prepare posters detailing why they would not use tobacco, as well as write an essay on the same topic. First, second and third place awards were given in each contest with gift certificates for $100, $50, or $25 given in each competition to the winners.

Receiving ribbons and awards in the poster contest were: first place - Alicia Norton; second place - Nicole Martin; and third place - Ebonie Williams. Essay contest winners were: first place - Zavione Aldredge; second place - Alyssa Hickens; and third place - Mayra Martinez.

All the students were treated to a pizza party following the ceremony.






1st place poster contest winner Alicia Norton with her mother, as well as Zina Wiggins and DMS teacher Deborah Brown.




1st place essay contest winner Zavione Aldridge with DMS teacher Deborah Brown, and LifeSkills instructor Zina Wiggins.





2nd place poster contest winner Nicole Martin with her father, and Zina Wiggins and Deborah Brown.




2nd place essay winner Alyssa Hickens with Deborah Brown and Zina Wiggins.



3rd place poster winner Ebonie Williams with Zina Wiggins and Deborah Brown.




3rd place essay winner Mayra Martinez with her mother and sister, as well as Loretta Wilson, left, and Zina Wiggins.


The Demopolis Middle School Choir shared their gift of song during the awards ceremony.


A very excited Mayra Martinez shares a hug with Zina Wiggins after receiving her award.


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