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Blueprint for a CHIP Program

Last fall, the school administrators in Butler Area School District were given a presentation of the CHIP program. Brother Dale Markle, Principal of Emily Brittain Elementary School in Butler, thought that this was a good program and would be appreciated by the parents in his school. Emily Brittain is a school of approximately 400 students in grades kindergarten through six.

Over 60% of the students come from single-parent homes, which made the program even more valuable to this school's community. Working with the Parent-Teacher Organization over a period of three months, they were able to organize a program that would allow every student the opportunity to be registered by CHIP's volunteers over a three-day period. Most schools organize a CHIP's program to be conducted after school hours or on weekends. Being a city school, Brother Markle has found that it is difficult to have students return to school after school hours. His approach was to hold the program during school hours during times that would not be disruptive to the student's classes. However, many of the parents have day-time jobs, making it difficult to recruit volunteers to administer the two stations for fingerprinting and videography. Learning this, Brother Markle's lodge, Butler Lodge No. 272, offered their assistance and the program proceeded as scheduled.

This novel approach allowed 217 children to be registered and was felt to be a very successful venture. Although the program was discussed at various parent-teacher meetings and information was sent to every parent, some parents had reservations about the program and the people who were working on it. Brother Markle invited each parent to be present during the entire process from fingerprinting to the recorded interview. Every parent who attended was impressed with the manner in which the program was organized and conducted.

The Brethren who worked at the program were impressed at the organization and professional approach to protecting our children. Knowing how it works, Butler Lodge No. 272 hopes that they can sponsor similar events at other Butler area schools this fall.

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