The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Camanche

November 15, 2012

Camanche students learn value of life

CAMANCHE — Students in Camanche are learning their most valuable lesson yet, the value of life, with a new program.

Teachers recently taught about the signs and adverse effects of suicide through a special presentation by the Yellow Ribbon program.

“There is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding suicide,” Brad Knutson, founder of the eastern Iowa chapter of the program, said. “We just want to raise awareness and do some part in helping prevent someone else from taking their own life.”

 The city has addressed suicide in the community with the help of the Speak Out Against Suicide group and Bridgeview’s Teen Screen program. Residents have taken the pledge against suicide and found support for their grief through Speak Out and more than 90 Camanche Middle School seventh and eighth graders received permission from their parents to undergo the screening program to identify risk factors for the tragic problem.

Speak Out contacted Brad and wife Dawn to bring another significant program to students in Camanche.

 Not many parents have such a deep understanding of the tragedy of suicide as do the Knutsons. About 13 years ago, the couple experienced the event first hand, when their son, Jeff, took his own life at the age of 16. The two felt compelled to help others and started the local Yellow Ribbon chapter in 2000.

Since then, they have given at least 500 presentations, going wherever they are needed, from Des Moines to Chicago.

“Any opportunity we get, we will go out and help free of charge,” Brad said. “We both have full-time jobs, but we are always willing to help in anyway we can.”

Through their video and presentation focused on the warning signs and the grief of those left behind, they have been able to reach out to groups of all ages and sizes, including Camanche High School and Camanche Middle School students.

“It’s so encouraging to hear back from people about how you’ve helped them,” Brad said. “At the end of the day it’s all about saving lives.”

The Yellow Ribbon program was founded in 1994 by the parents and friends of a teen in Colorado, Mike Emme, who took his life. This program is dedicated to preventing suicide and attempts by making suicide prevention accessible to everyone and removing barriers to help by empowering individuals and communities through leadership, awareness and education; and by collaborating and partnering with support networks to reduce stigma and help save lives, according to the organization’s website.

Local group Speak Out has also formed a support group called, “Let the Healing Begin,” with the first meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Garner Hall in Camanche. This will be open to any and all people who have lost a loved one.

“Our community has suffered so much from suicide, cancer and tragic accidents, that we want to give everyone the opportunity to heal themselves and to help others in similar situations,” group leader Nicole Carber said.

So far the group has been able to help more than 30 individuals struggling with problems and the hope is to reach out to all who are in need of support and understanding.

“It’s not just for suicide, it’s for anyone dealing with problems,” group leader Amber Metzger said.

1
Text Only
Camanche
  • Camanche slides past BETTENDORF -- All Kylie Vogel had to do was shake off the cobwebs. Vogel won her match, 11-9, after falling behind 6-0 to Bettendorf's Katie Melbourne in a dual that Camanche won, 6-3. It was Vogel's very first singles match of the season as she's ha

    April 18, 2014

  • Communities prep for hunts CLINTON -- Easter weekend is nearly here and two local organizations are calling all children for the hunting event of the year -- Easter egg hunting that is. Both Camanche and Fulton, Ill., will host Easter egg hunts Saturday, each at different time

    April 17, 2014

  • Camanche High School Honor Roll Camanche High School has released its third-quarter honor roll: Freshmen - High Honor Roll 3.5 to 4.0 Cade Borrison, Tristan Connell, Page Edens, David Gonzalez, Hampton Grim, Megan Hoffmann, Brooke Keil, Claire Kiester, Molly Kramer, Ciera Leary, Ca

    April 17, 2014

  • City considers upsizing storm sewer capacity CAMANCHE -- Residential development is a key component to the fortitude of Camanche, according to city leaders so they are taking the steps necessary to keep it an appealing location for future investors. To do so, those leaders are looking to up siz

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-14-14 13-Photo, Camanche doubles Camanche dominates in the doubles DAVENPORT -- Camanche showed its strength in doubles Saturday by claiming the top two spots at the Davenport Assumption Invitational girls tennis meet. The 1-2 finish led the Indians to the team title. Top seeds Kylie Vogel and Lindsey Grams, the 201

    April 14, 2014 4 Photos

  • Camanche 6th at Tipton TIPTON -- Derek Harksen picked up two more victories in the sprints to lead Camanche on Thursday at the Tipton Invitational. Harksen won the 200 meters in 22.65 seconds and the 400 in 50.37. The latter had a margin of victory of 2.73 seconds over Nic

    April 14, 2014

  • Stutting Camanche native tapped to head North Scott schools CLINTON -- A Camanche native will return to his roots this June, after being selected as the new superintendent for the North Scott Community School District. Joe Stutting, a 1987 graduate of Camanche High School, has been away from his hometown for

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senior housing plan picks up steam

    CAMANCHE -- The likelihood of a senior housing development in the city of Camanche is gaining momentum as residents came out in full support of the first installment of focus group meetings hosted by Park Vista Senior Housing Management. Two of the f

    April 12, 2014

  • Lego League A worldwide honor CAMANCHE -- In their first year of competition, the Camanche Elementary School Jr. LEGO League team has accomplished more than they ever imagined, capping off the season with a worldwide honor. The six students of Sheryl Kennedy's Jr. LEGO League tea

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-9-14 1B-Photo, PoP track Girls face tough tests CAMANCHE -- On an early April night, three girls set personal bests in their respective events. One of them even set a school record. Prince of Peace's Sydney Laufenberg walked away from the discus competition feeling a little frustrated about her th

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Facebook