The New Richmond School District believes that to do well in school, students need to feel physically and emotionally safe. In its ongoing effort to create a safe and caring culture, all New Richmond ninth graders participated in a Youth Frontier Respect Retreat on Tuesday, April 2.

Youth Frontiers is a nonprofit organization that has been delivering retreats since 1987. They provide schools with experiences that inspire character, civility and community.

The Respect Retreat focused on creating a more positive school community by engaging students in a variety of fun, highly energetic and engaging activities that enhanced self-confidence, empathy and connectedness.

According to school counselor Elizabeth L'Allier, students reacted positively to the experience and even went as far as to say that "My goal for tomorrow is to be kind to everyone and try to make at least one person have a better day." A student leader who helped out with the event said they wish they had been able to experience the event with their own class, L'Allier said.

Even the teachers had a great experience, according to L'Allier, with one teacher saying "I'm not a big group feeling talker, but I teared up multiple times at the end. I talked to quite a few kids individually and they said it was awesome too! Honestly, in my 16 years here, I really think that was the best thing we have ever had for kids. It was so fun yet so meaningful!"