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Nuhop Visits FIRST School

Left to Right: Andy Vandeusen, Paul Kinney, Josh Vanderzyden, Randall Fagan, Heather McClain, Robert Keller.  Location Foundations for Living Art Room

As part of FIRST School’s commitment to encouraging social and emotional development, on April 1st, 40 students participated in an activity day with the Nuhop Center for Experiential Learning. A Richland County Foundation TAP Grant was used to pay for the activity, which was graciously rolled over from 2020 when all activities were cancelled due to COVID-19. 

The students had a blast and so did the teachers and staff, ending the week before Spring Break on a high note. Josh Vanderzyden (Programs and Communication Manager of Nuhop), Andy Vandeusen, and Paul Kinney from Nuhop presented a program that involved several activities focusing on the improvement of communication skills and team building. 

Students, teachers, and staff participated in activities that required them to work together in groups and discuss the results of each activity. This allowed students to participate in activities outside the normal classroom studies. These activities included analyzing the best method in 5 different scenarios. 

The first activity involved everyone standing in a circle and tossing a softball while saying the name of who you threw it to. Then you were timed and had to remember the exact throwing order. Then they had to figure out how to do it more quickly. The students started at 43 seconds, and after being told the best time ever was 10 seconds, came up with a method to complete it in 9 seconds! 

The second activity involved timing by running under a large jump rope without letting it hit anyone and whether the entire group of over 50 (students, teachers and staff) could complete it. It took 3 attempts (and several configurations of teamwork), but they achieved success! 

The third activity involved sitting back-to-back and describing how to put together an object without seeing it, and then reversing. The fourth activity involved teams of 6 using several PVC pipes and attempting to roll a marble from pipe to pipe without touching it and ending up in a cup. The last activity consisted of teams of 3, with one being the observer, one being the runner, and one being the builder. The observer had to view an object and describe it to the runner without the runner seeing it. The runner then had to run to the builder and describe how to build it as many times as possible within a specified time frame. 

Vanessa Wagner, Principal of FIRST School, said, “The amazing engagement of students, teachers, and staff made this event one for the books! We are always wanting to encourage our students to work together and this type of fun activity made the learning experience really enjoyable for all of us! We’re grateful for Nuhop and their commitment to teaching students through fun and innovative ways.”

Private Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) Programs include the Abraxas School and FIRST School, which are funded through the Ohio Department of Education Private Residential Treatment Facility Pilot Program to operate the academic program at two of the three PRTF sites: Abraxas, located east of Shelby and Foundations for Living, located west of Lucas. These programs are also supported through Title 1-D (Delinquent) funds administered by Mid-Ohio ESC. Mid-Ohio ESC partners with the residential treatment program administration and staff to deliver an educational program that meets the requirements of the Ohio Department of Education for students in correctional facilities.

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