Former health services provider disburses funds to school district, ambulance service
By Annette Tait
Center-Stanton Public Schools and the Oliver County Ambulance Association received unexpected windfalls last week to assist with their respective needs.
The donations came from Mercer Oliver Health Services, Inc., which formerly operated health care clinics in Center and Beulah. The organization’s board of directors recently met to determine how to distribute funds remaining in MOSHI’s accounts after its dissolution. As a non-profit corporation, North Dakota law required remaining funds be distributed to other non-profit organizations.
“It’s a win-win,” MOSHI Board President Stuart Libby said. “I really like the way we’re going with this, and having the opportunity to better programs that are going on in the [two] counties.”
The board voted to donate $2,500 to CSPS to support the Olweus anti-bullying program. The monies are to be used in equal amounts, $500 per year, over a five-year period.
“It will guarantee that we can have a program that is going to continue,” Center-Stanton Secondary Principal Tracy Peterson said. “The program’s more than rules for disciplining kids who get in trouble. It teaches them behaviors where they can stand up for the kids who may be being picked on, and not just continue being a bystander and allowing it to happen.”
Peterson explained that often the child who’s being a bully gets all the attention, and attention continues to be drawn more and more to that child. Instead, the Olweus program looks at what a child did positively to help another child out for the day instead of tearing them down, and reinforces the positive behavior.
“That’s why we looked at the Olweus program,” Peterson said. “We’d heard so much about how it was encouraging positive behavior instead of disciplining negative behavior.”
C-S schools began using the Olweus program as a one-year requirement by the state Department of Public Instruction for all schools to have an anti-bullying program in place for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. After the required year, funding was not provided to continue the program.
C-S administrators and school board members recognized the value, and managed to continue to fund the Olweus program for each of the two years since the required year ended.