Power of Communication

Published 4:41 pm Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Bainbridge Middle School students lined up to shake Chamber of Commerce President Adrienne Harrison’s hand Monday afternoon at a 1 on 1 Mentoring program focused on developing strong communication skills.

The students who introduced themselves the best were awarded with candy bars. It was a test to see how many of the students knew how to shake someone’s hand correctly.

1 on 1 Mentoring in partnership with the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce held the program at the Bainbridge Memorial Coliseum to plant a seed for developing strong communication skills that the students will one day need to get a job.

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“It’s workforce development,” said Harrison. “That is one of the chamber’s initiatives this year. We want to educate and inspire our future workers. So many youths today are lacking these communication skills, and so it was important for me to come here today and talk to them about proper communication so that they become employable.”

Harrison ran through a range of fun exercises with the students, including a charades game where students drew an emotion from a bag and had to act it out without using words for their peers to guess. The game was intended to teach the importance of using good body language.

Other exercises helped the students think more about proper listening and phone etiquette.

“A lot of the things that Adrienne was telling them is information that they haven’t even thought about,” said Barbara Lowe, a 1 on 1 Mentoring board member. “We don’t have many homes that are teaching those things. It is important.”

Lowe appreciated the interaction that the students were able to have with each other during the exercises.

Afterwards, boys and girls split up for gender sessions, with Decatur County Superintendent Tim Cochran speaking to the boys and Harrison speaking to the girls about becoming young ladies.

Cochran emphasized the importance of making good decisions, doing well in school and making sure the kids priorities in life were in order. He also helped them learn to tie a tie.

“That’s why we’re here as educators,” said Cochran. “That’s what we do every day. We try to help these kids. Sometimes it’s teaching them math and science, and sometimes it’s teaching them something else. Unfortunately, a lot of them don’t have anybody at home teaching them.”

Whether the messages they were taught sunk in or not is for the students to decide. But Lowe said putting these ideas out there for the students to interact with is the main point.

“They’re kids, their attention span is short,” said Lowe. “But we if can get a little to them, then that’s important.”