STEVE STERNHAGEN, Youth Navigator from Call to Freedom, spoke to students last week.

Steve Sternhagen is a Youth Navigator in the Call to Freedom organization located in Sioux Falls. Call to Freedom is an anti-human trafficking organization that provides supportive services for those affected by human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in South Dakota. A large part of Sternhagen’s job is doing public presentations to groups of students all over South Dakota. Sanborn Central invited him to come to their school and speak to the students in grades seven through 12 on Wednesday, March 22. 

Due to the nature of the subject area, Sternhagen spoke to the students in grades nine through 12 first and then had a second session with the seventh and eighth graders. His presentation included a power point with videos explaining real-life situations that young people have found themselves in that have made them victims of sex or human trafficking. With the help of the visual aids, Sternhagen explained what human trafficking and sexual exploitation, or sex trafficking are, and he described the tactics used by offenders on their victims. He went through the six stages of grooming used by traffickers to lure and manipulate their victims into doing what they want them to. He also explained the methods the criminals use to keep them in the trafficking rings. The common question asked is “Why don’t the victims run from the terrible people keeping them,” and the answer is the offenders control the victims with drugs or threats on members of their family to keep them from escaping, and victims are ashamed to admit they got involved in such a criminal act.

…Read on and see an additional picture in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

The Blackhawks Got Talent Music Contest was held on Thursday, March 9, in Sanborn Central and, due to weather postponing the event, on Wednesday, March 15, at Woonsocket under the direction of music teacher, Mrs. Jenny Easton. Students from both schools displayed their vocal talents with solo, duet, ensemble and small group performances. Ages fifth grade through seniors were among the youth participating. This event proved that Sanborn County youth have truly “got talent.”

…See pictures in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

On Friday, March 10, Woonsocket’s PreK-12 students and teachers all gathered in the Woonsocket gym to celebrate raising funds for the junior prom and for the American Heart Association. The junior class had a “Pie the Teacher” change war. Buckets were set out to collect money for each teacher and the teacher with the most money in their bucket at the end of the war had to receive a “pie” made of whipped cream in the face.  The “winners” were Mrs. Dayna Rodriguez for the high school and Mr. Jason Bruce for the elementary school. Jeff Boschee, a member of the junior class, whose birthday was March 8, was given the honors to shove a pie in the face of both the “winning” teachers. The junior class made a little over $540 for this year’s prom. Mrs. Rodriguez made $183, and Mr. Bruce made $104.

At the same assembly, the elementary students celebrated raising money for the American Heart Association by collecting donations through their Jump Rope for Heart event held at the school. Students asked for donations online through a link and in person, and with their efforts, they raised $4,514.30. Their goal was $4,000, so since they met that goal, the PE staff had to endure a sliming from the top three money raisers. Third place went to Christina Hill who raised $265, and she got to pour slime on Mr. Charley Larson. Andi Rodriguez came in second place with raising $354.50 and earned the honor of pouring slime on her father, Mr. Armando Rodriguez. The top fundraiser was Griffin Kogel with $371.45. Kogel earned the privilege of sliming the PE student teacher, Mr. Trey Weber. The slime, made by Tara Weber, was organically made out of pudding, applesauce and oatmeal. 

…See pictures in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

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