Emery County Sheriff’s Office Rounds Out Another Year of NOVA

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Press Release

Emery County Sheriff’s Office deputies are finishing up another successful year of teaching the NOVA program in local elementary schools. NOVA is taught to sixth graders at Bookcliff Elementary in Green River and to fifth graders at all other schools throughout the district.

The program was created by an Orem City Police Sergeant. NOVA stands for Nurturing-Opportunities-Values-Accountability and the NOVA motto is “Illuminating the Path to Excellence.” The program has 14 lessons that are taught from January-May. Several ECSO personnel are certified to teach NOVA. Those teaching this year are Deputy AJ O’Neil, Deputy Tyson Huntington, Deputy Robby Riley and Deputy Kurt Price.

NOVA lessons are:
• Intro and Get to Know the Instructor
• Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco – the facts
• Opportunities – good things that come your way
• True Colors – what is right and what is wrong
• Self Esteem
• Heroes
• Anger – how to control it
• Teasing – friendly teasing, mean-spirited teasing and bullying and how to deal with each
• Television, movies and video games – positive and negative sides
• Internet – positive and negative sides and how to be safe
• Music – positive and negative sides
• Gangs
• Personal Constitution
• The Challenge – brings it all together and includes a challenge to use the tools and knowledge gained to spread the message to their family and friends

Parents and guardians are given a packet so they can sign up online to receive weekly emails informing them of what the children are being taught. Students are given assignments throughout the course and are rewarded for completing assignments. Each student is required to write a personal constitution in order to graduate the program. The title of the personal constitution is “My Roadmap to the Path to Excellence.” In the essay, students talk about opportunities they can take to be successful in life. They identify values and how those values will help them.
Students are also given a seven-day challenge where they go without television and video games. During those seven days, students record what they did with their time instead of watching television and playing video games. The assignment also gives parents an opportunity to comment on the positive ways going without these things helped the student during the challenge.

Upon completion of the course, each student is given a graduation certificate and a t-shirt. They are also treated to a graduation lunch. Special thanks to Maverik for supporting the NOVA program. This year, they provided a barbeque of hamburgers and hot dogs free of charge for NOVA graduates at each elementary school. They have also provided 500 to 600 certificates for slushies and ice cream to be given to students as rewards for completing assignments. Last year, Maverik purchased 300 day passes for the swimming pool that were given as rewards. This is the third year that Maverik has stepped up and supported the NOVA program free of charge.

Programs like these are made possible by the willingness of ECSO personnel to go beyond the scope of their regular duties and by the support of Emery School District and local business.

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