Five years ago Lions worked with school officials to implement Lions Quest at Martin Niemoller School in Reinstadt, Germany. The life skills program sparked an upswing at the school. Students in one class used skills they learned to defuse a bullying situation with students from another school. Many students are more mature and more open to facing the inevitable challenges of being a teen-ager. “Lions Quest has taught me to talk to my teacher about problems I face. And that it’s okay to confide in others,” said Marvin, a ninth-grader. Avoiding violence is one of the many life skills taught through Lions Quest, celebrating its 25th year. A schools based program for children from kindergarten to 12th grade, Lions Quest helps youths learn how to make responsible decisions, communicate effectively and avoid drugs. More than 11 million youths have taken part in a Lions Quest classroom, and more than 350,000 educators and other adults have been trained to implement the programs in school and community settings. The program has drawn rave reviews from educators and high ratings from government agencies worldwide. Lions Quest is active in 50 countries. New trainers have been certified in Norway, Pakistan, India, Kenya, Austria and Belize, and trainer candidates are currently being prepared in Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Russia. “Lions have long realized that youth are not only our present, but our future,” said International President Eberhard J. Wirfs. “My goal for Lions is to extend the Lions Quest Program to over 60 countries worldwide and to develop it as an educational core program of Lions Clubs International and Foundation.” Lions Quest is growing. In Uruguay, Lions are implementing its middle school-aged program in all three districts within Uruguay, reaching approximately 7,300 students. In Japan, six grants from LCIF will enable Lions to conduct 51 workshops, 20 seminars and train 1,295 teachers. To help the program grow within the United States, Lions Quest launched the “Heroes in the Community” contest at the start of the school year. Participating clubs and classrooms will be recognized in May for their joint service projects, with one Lions club and Lions Quest classroom team being named the top “Hero in the Community.” The winning classroom will receive a pizza party, and the winning Lions club will earn a visit from LCIF Chairperson Al Brandel. Lions and classrooms can provide updates on their service project plans on the newly created Facebook and Twitter Lions Quest pages. A new DVD and brochure on Lions Quest, which premiered at the 2009 international convention, are available free of charge. Donors who contribute $25 or more to Lions Quest this year will receive a special commemorative button. “When I first heard about Lions Quest, I immediately recognized the potential. What I couldn’t foresee at that moment is how long we would be working with Lions Quest and what success it would mean for our school,” said Lion Hans Richter of Reinstadt, Germany. “I encourage more Lions to take up this program.”
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