Team Rivals program creates future leaders

By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

Medfield, Westwood, and Dover-Sherborn High Schools are in the same bracket, participating in the “Team Rivals” program, an outreach program consisting of a series of four friendly competitions between schools. The program is designed for students to learn about community and awareness building. All schools in Norfolk County are invited to send students, though not all choose to participate.

The first of these events was the Peer Leadership Conference, an almost all-day event held at Gillette Stadium taking place on November 20. The day featured speakers addressing substance abuse, community building, and positive steps that can be taken in the community.

While that event already took place, but DA spokesman David Traub explained there are more coming.

“Distractology is another,” Traub stated. “That’s where students learn about distracted driving. There’s also the PSA where, essentially, students are challenged to make a PSA that can run on local cable or YouTube or whatever. This year’s is about what kind of resources are available in each school’s local community for substance abuse treatment or prevention.”

While the program is great for students to learn, there are incentives for the school as well. If one’s school performs well, it may receive a grant from the DA, as has happened in the past.

“Avon won their bracket with 100 points out of a possible 100 points and won a $1,500 grant from the DA’s office, drawn from drug forfeiture funds, to support substance abuse and destructive decision prevention work.”

Some students also use the hours they put in to go towards community service requirements for graduation. One individual student will also win the Haley Cremer Do Unto Others Peer Leadership Award, an annual award given in honor of Haley Cremer, a bullying prevention advocate from Sharon High School that was tragically killed by an unlicensed driver in 2014.

At the moment, in bracket seven, Medfield has a 25 point lead over both Westwood and Dover - but that could change soon, depending on who participates in the Distractology course.

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