July 1, 2011 11:29:00 PM
A Crossroads after-school program team, which included students from Columbus High School, represented the state of Mississippi at the 2011 international competition for its Community Problem Solving Project at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
The conference was held June 9-12 in La Crosse, Wis. Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI) engages students in creative problem solving. It was created to stimulate critical and creative thinking skills and encourage students to develop a vision for the future.
Crossroads had two teams of Columbus High School students apply their problem solving skills to a current community problem and compete in the Mississippi Affiliate, Future Problem Solving Program International Bowl held at Mississippi University for Women in March. Using the FPS problem-solving model, students implemented an action plan to address the community problems they chose to help solve.
The team that won first place at the regional bowl helped develop a solution for the lack of positive role models at their school and in their community. They hosted a Youth Forum and conducted an interactive presentation for the middle school Crossroads students -- covering topics such as obesity, exercise, and bullying. The team called S.W.A.G.G. (Students With A Great Goal) went on to compete internationally.
Wish in a Backpack team placed second. Members collected school supplies and toiletries for underprivileged children and donated the supplies to the Father''s Child Ministries for distribution. The team worked to solve the problem of students going to school unprepared and as a result having to deal with ridicule.
Ivey Ivy, who serves as youth development specialist for the MUW Roger F. Wicker Center for Creative Learning, runs the after school program.
Crossroads is a project of the MUW Center for Creative Learning that serves students from the Columbus Municipal School District. The goal of the project is to provide a safe and enriching environment for students outside of regular school hours. The after-school and summer programs address the following student needs: academic enrichment, leadership and personal development skills, cultural and artistic enrichment, health and fitness and recreation.