Students in 4th- 8th grades were invited to participate in an eight week Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program in January and February. Toastmasters International is a nonprofit organization that helps people to develop their communication and leadership skills. The students learned about topics including: public speaking, impromptu speaking, listening, gestures, voice and vocabulary. This program was facilitated by Ms. Sandra Talmadge, HPA second grade teacher and Treasurer of the Havasu Toastmasters organization.
What is NOVA? The N.O.V.A. Principles program was created in March of 2003. This program is taught by uniformed law enforcement officers in Elementary, Jr. High, and High Schools. The Elementary School program is a 13-15 week program, the Jr. High program is a 4 week program, and the High School program is a 2 lesson program. The Lake Havasu City Police department officers that are involved with the program include: Sergeant Mike Munding, Officer Joe Erhart, Office Nolan Smith, Office Larry Allen, Officer Robert Horstmeyer, Officer Louis Plunkett, and Officer Dwain Fernandez. Officer Fernandez was the instructor for Havasu Preparatory students in Mr. Foster and Mrs. Gates’ 5th grade classes over the past few months.
The mission of N.O.V.A. principles is: “Nurturing youth to seek out positive Opportunities, internalize good Values, and to accept Accountability for their choices in life.” N.O.V.A. principles assist parents, families, and communities in protecting youth from the potentially devastating effects of illegal drugs, violence and negative media exposure. The N.O.V.A. principles motto is “Illuminating the Path to Excellence.”
As a conclusion to the program, students are challenged to create a N.O.V.A. rocket and to write a N.O.V.A. constitution, which contains the student’s ideas for a road map to success. Over 470 Lake Havasu students participated in the program this year. Havasu Preparatory Academy student Kylee Gallo, from Mrs. Gates’ class, was selected as the N.O.V.A. Constitution Winner for her essay. Kylee read her speech to a packed auditorium during the graduation ceremony, held on Friday, March 2 at the Lake Havasu City Aquatic Center. Kylee’s name has been added to the perpetual plaque, which will be on display at Havasu Preparatory Academy for the next few months.
All students who completed the program walked across the stage and were congratulated by the Lake Havasu City Police Department members for their efforts. Afterwards, the students enjoyed pizza donated by Little Caesars Pizza and a swim party at the Aquatic Center. Thank you, Lake Havasu City Police Departments for your education efforts for our young citizens.