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Learning lessons on the 'Choice Bus'

Posted: October 11, 2011 3:55 p.m.
Updated: October 12, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Students from Chris Brinson’s eighth grade history class at Camden Middle School get an up-close view of a reproduction of a prison cell courtesy of the Choice Bus.

A bus, the likes of which has never been seen on Camden Middle School’s campus, stopped by on Wednesday to encourage eighth grade students to make the right choice -- the choice to stay in school.

The Choice Bus, sponsored by the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation and State Farm Insurance, travels around the nation relaying the message, “The choice is yours.” While on board the bus, students are shown a video demonstrating the correlation between high school dropouts and prison. The video explains that three out of every four prisoners don’t finish high school, and 80 percent can't read or write. After the video, students are shown the ultimate deterrent to dropping out of school -- a reproduction of a prison cell.

When asked how she felt about dropping out of school after viewing the prison cell, eighth grade student Micayla Woodrow said, “I will make sure I stay in school and not get involved in the wrong crowds because I like my freedom and being able to have my own room and bathroom.”

So was the bus a worthwhile experience for students? Camden Middle School teacher Chris Brinson thought so.

“I think this was a wonderful opportunity for our students and hopefully a life changing experience. The students certainly did not like the idea of sharing a room with three others and not having privacy while using the restroom,” Brinson said. “ If this is what it takes to bring home the importance of choosing to stay in school and making good choices in life, then missing a day of history class was well worth it!”


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