Featured Practice

Positive Addictions
Clay Center Community Middle School
Clay Center, Kansas

Positive Addictions addresses:
Principle 1: The school community promotes core ethical and performance values as the foundation of good character.
Principle 10:  The school engages families and community members as partners in the character-building effort.

The key topics include:

  • Family and Community
  • Sports / Physical Education 
  • Student Development & Growth

Positive Addictions culminates with an end of year 5K race in which all students participate, but numerous character-building activities take place throughout the year that contribute to the success and excitement that builds around the community race.
The goal of Positive Addictions is to interest students in lifelong healthy practices as they train throughout the year for the 5K. Students participate in community clean-up events, mentoring lunches with community members, as well as classroom activities throughout the year that introduce and reinforce healthy lifestyles and becoming supportive members of the community. 

Preparing for the race takes place over several months with multiple training sessions for teachers and students. Several parents and community members volunteer time as street crossing monitors, race partners and cheerleaders along the course during training and turn out in greater numbers on Positive Addictions Day. Even the elementary schools get involved by passing out water to the runners as well as creating banners and signs to cheer runners along.

After the race, the students visit stations on the school grounds that promote character and healthy habits that include activities focusing on eating a healthy diet, emotional wellness, developing caring and compassionate attributes and physical fitness. Positive Addictions Day has led to a solid feeling of community within the school and student initiatives including a running club and kindness club.

Lyndsey Brown, a counselor at Clay Center Community Middle School, applied for Promising Practice recognition. Since that time, however, she has moved from the Clay Center School District to Maize High School in a neighboring district. Lyndsey intends to introduce a version of Positive Addictions in her new role as a high school counselor. In discussing her move, she noted that Maize High School serves a much larger student population. With this in mind, she is planning to introduce Positive Addictions with the junior class first and gradually expand the initiative over the coming years.  

The original Positive Addictions continues to flourish at Clay Center. Nick Brummet, a counselor at the middle school is carrying on the initiative and looks forward to expanding it with additional services for both the school and the larger Clay Center community as well.