Sprayberry Sources of Strength

Spreading Hope for the Holidays.

Sprayberry Sources of Strength Peer Leaders leads the community in finding things to be thankful for during challenging times.

Cobb County School District is committed to the emotional wellness of our students and community. This holiday season Sprayberry Sources of Strength Peer Leaders partnered with Ivy Lane Boutique to raise the awareness of mental health in our community. Sources of Strength is a strength-based comprehensive wellness program that focuses on suicide prevention; however, as a wellness program, it also seeks to impact social issues such as bullying, substance abuse, and violence. The program is based on a relational connections model that uses teams of peer leaders, mentored by adult advisors, to change peer social norms about help-seeking and encourages students to individually assess and develop strengths in their life. The model promotes and focuses on connectivity, school or community bonding, peer-adult partnerships, protective factors and the promotion of help-seeking behaviors.

Sprayberry Peer Leaders Ally Hummel, Cate Willhoff, and Zara Hasan, along with their adult advisor Paula Axford, engaged the community at Ivy Lane Boutique in a Thankfulness Challenge. In the midst of navigating a challenging school year, these peer leaders know the power of practicing gratitude and how it can have a huge impact in our lives. Members of the community stopped by the Sources of Strength table outside for some coffee and refreshments while they filled out a thankful card. The Peer Leaders raised $110 and the owner of Ivy Lane Boutique, Julie Turner, matched the amount and donated to the Sprayberry Sources of Strength team.

Cobb County School District has 18 schools currently implementing the Sources of Strength Program. Recruiting diverse Peer Leaders from a wide variety of social groups is an essential element in achieving the widespread social network impact that is core to the Sources of Strength model. The program is grounded in an interactive learning model in which a “fun factor” plays an essential part of student engagement. Making use of students’ music, art, interests, drama, social media, etc., adds to the engagement of other students. Peer input and ownership is also essential; each campaign is adapted to fit the culture, tone, style, and opportunities available in the individual schools.

Kelly McNabb, Supervisor
Positive School Culture

Contributing Author: Brittany Phillips, SEL Specialist

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