Nov. 2, 2019

Senior Ally Lawrence has spent the past month preparing for Red Ribbon Week, when members of Lee’s Summit North’s Bronco SMART club visit feeder elementary schools to promote their Better Education about Resistance Strategies (BEARS) program to keep kids drug and alcohol free.

“I have been in our sponsors classroom for the past three weeks for hours at a time,” Ally said. “Setting up the lesson plans, getting all the stuff together, printing out the scripts for our members to work on.”

But the Bronco SMART officer’s favorite activity is part of the second grade curriculum, where students perform an activity exploring what they like about themselves, a lesson in self-love that Ally says teens and adults should pay attention to.

“It’s nice to hear kids think nice things about themselves,” she said.

Ally and her classmates Ryan McCain and Devin Allaman were three of dozens of Bronco SMART high schoolers who led BEARS lessons on topics such as bullying, tobacco, self-esteem and being a good friend this week.

The teens said they knew their efforts were making a difference in the lives of students following a path they’ve already walked — the three students visited Underwood Elementary this week where they all attended school.

“It’s pretty cool to talk with the kids and connect with them and help them with self esteem,” said Devin.

But the experience had an impact on them, too.

“Sometimes you get these nice stories from all these little kids,” Ryan said. “Little kids aren’t filtered, really. It gives you some really good insight… it reminds you of what it’s like to be a kid.”