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Inspire is the brainchild of English teacher Lisa Duesing.
“Four years ago I came up with an idea to start a club that is based on positive psychology research,” Duesling said.
Each month the club focuses on a positive theme such as: Letting Go of Negativity, Anger, Anxiety, and Guilt; The Power of Gratitude; and It’s Not Luck, It’s a Choice (how our feelings, attitudes, and choices are all of our choosing).
Duesing and the club’s co-sponsor, Bernadette Poulos, coach the kids on how they can incorporate the theme’s message into their personal lives and spread it to their families, friends, school, community, and the world.
“For the month of September we were focusing on making stronger human connections with others by working on being in the present moment — not stuck in our heads or on our phones — so we can truly connect with the people around us,” Duesing said.
“We also thought in light of all the negativity surrounding police that we could reach out to them and ask them to do the Strength Event with us,” Duesing said.
Last week the club invited members of the Burbank Police Department and several Reavis grads who are police officers in neighboring communities, to participate in a series of relationship-building exercises they had planned.
“We randomly put students in teams of four and one of the four was a police officer,” Duesing said. “Each team had to go through a fun, yet challenging obstacle course together, all with the idea of making positive connections with our students, police, and the community.”
Prior to the start of the event, a few of the officers talked to the students about why they decided to become a police officer, why they love their job, and the positive aspects of policing.
The Inspire leadership panel, then presented each police officer with a small gift of handwritten thank you cards from the 120 members in our club and a gift card.
A few of the students addressed the officers before the event kicked off and said, “On behalf of the Inspire Club, we’d like to thank the officers for taking risks every single day. They leave their family and friends to help people they do not know and that is very heroic. So we’d really just like to thank you guys for protecting us and our community.”
Chief Rick Shore, of the Burbank Police Deaprtment, thanked the students for the invitation to participate and said, “We see the news media coverage all the time of the negativity, that’s why I thank all you students — the next generation coming up — to request the police to come out today and see us for who we are. We care about the community and want to work with the community. We want to work with you guys and make the streets safer for you.”