Who: All 9th grade girls at Farmington High School

When: Friday, October 4 from 8:55-9:45

Where: HS Library

Why: What you need to know about dating

I wanted the program to be modeled after The View television show. Donna Norsworthy, the ninth grade councelor was my initial contact for the program and she was the MC of the event.

Two weeks before the program, the ninth grade ladies were introduced to the program through a PowerPoint in their English class. They were encouraged to anonymously write dating questions or concerns down and submit them in The Dating View boxes.

The "expert" panel I assembled included a mother of two teenage daughters, a newly married couple a Crime prevention officer, a senior boy and the middle school counselor.

As the girls entered the library they were given a ticket that was later used for the door prizes. The View theme song was playing from http://www.televisiontunes.com/View.html as the girls found their seats. I had assembled give aways including two $5 gift cards from Coffee Creations, a $20 gift card from Briar Rose, free Sonic ice cream certificates, two gift bags from The Funky Monkey, and three $25 gift cards from Walmart.

The panel sat on stools around two bar tables.We had three microphones. One for Mrs. Norsworthy and one at each table.

Both Corporal David Waddell, the Crime Prevention officer at the University of Arkansas, and Officer Chad Parrish, the school staff officer planned to be a part of the panel, but Officer Parrish was called away to attend to a student matter at the last minute. I was thankful that I had invited two police officers.

After being introduced, each panel member spoke to the girls about dating and dating safety from their perspective.

The ladies responded especially well to the rape prevention training from Corporal Waddell.

Senior Jeremy Mueller as a peer was a great addition to the panel.

Next Mrs. Norsworthy asked the panel the questions the girls had submitted. The questions were...

    1. What’s the best first date? What’s it like to go on the first date?

    2. What do I do if a guy tries to make a move that I’m not ready for?

    3. When is it appropriate to kiss a dude? Dudes don’t seem to know this either (about girls).

    4. How do you talk to older guys?

    5. I’m ugly, how do I get guys to like me?

    6. What is the best type of boy to date?

    7. How do I get a boyfriend?

    8. Why are girls trying to take other girls’ boyfriends? (on purpose)

    9. When is the right time for him to meet my family?

    One or more panel members responded to each question. There was time for several girls to ask the panel follow-up questions.

Tickets were drawn and all the door prizes were given away. They really got into this!

Mrs. Norsworthy reminded the ladies to pick up some dating brochures on their way out and dismissed the assembly. As the ladies walked out the theme song to The View was playing.

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