Helping Us Develop Dedication, Leadership & Enthusiasm
HUDDLE provides a low-cost prevention program to elementary and high school students district wide. It gives elementary students (3rd, 4th and 5th grade) positive role models, and, at the same time, gives tobacco, alcohol, and other drug-free high school students leadership opportunities.
SHUDDLE extends this important program to 6th grade students.
The program was originally developed in 1989 in Fremont, Ohio as a result of the need to provide a low-cost prevention program to elementary and high school students district wide. HUDDLE does just that. While it gives the elementary students (3rd, 4th and 5th grade) positive role models to whom to look up to, it also gives tobacco, alcohol, and other drug-free high school students a leadership opportunity. The program has existed at Medina High School since 1993.
HUDDLE has undergone tremendous growth over the years due to strong interest shown by the high school students. Several years ago the program was expanded to St. Frances Xavier School. Originally designed for 4th graders, the decision was made to expand the program to 6th graders. The name ‘SHUDDLE’ was adopted, standing for ‘STILL Helping Us Develop Dedication, Leadership and Enthusiasm.’
The program continues to evolve and is evaluated monthly and annually by teachers, students, and teen leaders. The curriculums are reviewed yearly to ensure that the programs are up-to-date and meet the needs of high school leaders and the younger students they teach. Lesson topics were modified to align with the district’s social emotional teaching goals. Huddle topics like kindness, friendship, mental wellness and brain matters (drug abuse) began to be used in the curriculum.
In 2019-20 Dr. Quallich, Ms Hallock, Ms Federinko and Mrs McGinty wanted to explore expanding the program to 3rd graders. A big shout out to Mrs. Vidika and Ms. Smith from Garfield, Ms Boza from Northrop and Ms. Varney, Ms. Young and Ms Wasson from Heritage for giving the third grade version a test drive that year. We learned a lot from them. Unfortunately the year ended prematurely due to the quarantine imposed on Ohio schools to slow the spread of the Covid virus.
The 2020/21 was a year of challenges for the Medina Huddle program as we were faced with the obstacle of ever changing schedules and remote learning. Not to mention that we decided to roll in the entire 3rd grade to the program. As a result the program recruited 220 Huddle Leaders for 65+ classrooms. Due to the ongoing need to prevent spread of the virus to our friends, Huddle was delivered virtually to the district’s classrooms with the exception of the April program where we were allowed to make an outdoor visit to their buildings for games and a graduation ceremony. The success of the program that year was due to the drive, creativity and work ethic displayed by our Huddle leaders.
2021/22 is turning out to be another fantastic year for the Huddle program as we resume our normal ‘In-person’ visits to the Elementary buildings. The teaching staff have remarked how impactful this program is for their students.
“I loved how they shared personal friendship experiences. Kids were very engaged. This group has been the most engaged with the kids since I’ve had Huddle kids.” — Ms. Thomas, Waite, 5th grade
“Super! The excitement of the kids is palpable – I am telling you – they were so excited…all day!” — Mrs. Fronk, St. Francis Xavier, 4th grade
HUDDLE is funded by two sources. The Medina City Schools Foundation provides funding for our iconic Huddle T-shirt. The second source of funding comes from the club members as they each contribute a $10 fee which helps fund the cost of supplies needed to run the program.
For questions regarding HUDDLE/SHUDDLE call or email Ron Blue at Medina High School; 330-636-3223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.