PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

March 6, 2014

PNE students get a grip on character

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

PORT NECHES — Students at Port Neches Elementary School got a grip on character by climbing a 25-foot rock wall on Thursday.

Rock Solid Character, an adventure based character education program of Team Synergy Inc., used the rock climbing experience as a metaphor for life which is full of challenges and obstacles.

The lesson was not lost on fifth grade student Shelby Letulle, 11, who climbed almost to the top.

“It takes a lot of courage to do it and it takes courage to make the right choices,” Letulle said.

Michael Blotner, 11, experienced the rock wall challenge for the first time ever on Thursday.

“It was scary but at some point you just have to keep climbing,” Blotner, who reached the top, said.

School counselor Kim Bell presented a video to her students and a pre-lesson regarding the good character program prior to taking the challenge. A post-lesson will tie all the pieces together, she added.

Xander Davidson, 11, isn’t new to the rock wall climbing experience having taken the challenge during last year’s Riverfest celebration in Port Neches.

“It was challenging and fun,” Davidson said.

Program instructors Keith Vanderwall, Moe Ogunkeye and David Artieda instructed the students on safety and how to make the climb while interweaving their message of character and the seven handholds for success; respect, responsibility, honesty, trustworthiness, courage, perseverance and caring/cooperation.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews