Piggott High ALE Hosts Spring Fest

Thursday, March 24, 2016
Much to the delight of the crowd, Robert Hackenson (right) of Dynamic Influence constructs a human structure made up of student "building blocks" during his presentation at the ALE Spring Fest at PHS. Later in the day Hackenson also spoke to students at Piggott Elementary School. (TD photo/Tim Blair)

For the ninth year in a row, Piggott High School hosted the annual ALE Spring Fest on Wednesday, March 23. This year's effort, which included all students in grades 7 through 12 at PHS, featured a variety of presentations and workshops and was sponsored by the district Alternative Learning Education program.

"This year we had presentations by UAMS, Mid-South Health Systems, Detective Mark Vavak with the Arkansas State Police and a speaker with Dynamic Influence," noted Piggott Schools ALE Director, and event organizer, Jon Wellman.

Divided by classes, the students participated in six different presentations and workshops during the course of the day. Specific efforts included a workshop with tips for those entering the job market, including advice on setting up and attending a job interview and informational sessions on substance abuse and bullying.

"One of the most popular sessions were the character building lessons offered by Robert Hackenson of Dynamic Influence," Wellman added. "His session on character building and making good decisions in life was a hit."

Hackenson, whose company is based in Massachusetts, offered life lessons on decision making and character building with a twist. A veteran of more than 10 years of such efforts as a self-proclaimed "edutainer" and professional speaker, Hackenson provided the students with advice on such topics as social media dangers, substance abuse, tobacco and marijuana awareness, bullying and gambling.

His presentation on character and making good choices revolved around building blocks, and included an exercise in cooperation and teamwork in which students formed a structure using their bodies as human building blocks.

The spring fest also included the annual student body talent show, and the Sadie Hawkins Day royalty was introduced. The faculty-student basketball game is also usually held on the same day as the Spring Fest, but this year was moved to Thursday.

Throughout the day the concession stand was operated by the PHS SADD Club as a fundraiser, with members of the Piggott FFA chapter assisting by cooking hot dogs.

"We want to thank everyone who made this year's Spring Fest a success," Wellman surmised. "And, a special thanks to all those who came and made presentations to the students."

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