MEXICO — Students and teachers at Mountain Valley Middle School prepared in advance for Believe in Yourself Day on May 25 by reading the book “Husky” by Justin Sayre.

The book is about a teenage boy who is trying to figure out what is important to him, who he wants to be, and how he fits in at school and with his friends and family. It was a prelude to the special day of classes in the arts, cooking, exercise and mental wellness.

Jocelyn Halacy, who turned 13 on Friday said two of the classes she enjoyed the most were the Performing Arts class and Healthy Cooking class while eighth-grader Arown Purcell most liked the Dream Catchers class. “You hang them above your bed and good dreams go through the strings and the bad dreams stay in the strings,” he explained.

The students also saw Kevin Mannix, the retired Channel 6 weatherman, speak about his experience of being an adult child of an alcoholic and how that caused him to have feelings of shame and anxiety. His father was an alcoholic and his mother suffered from seasonal depression and he grew up taking care of his mother and his sister who is nine years younger than him.

By getting counseling in his thirties he learned to handle the emotional problems he was experiencing. “I had no sense of self; I still can struggle at times with shame and stigma around these issues and feel anxious and depressed. The difference is I have awareness of that now that I didn’t have before and I’ve been given tools to be able to minimize it,” Mannix said.

He also told the students about 2-1-1, a number to call in Maine if help is needed with a physical or emotional crisis. Mannix has written a book about his struggles titled “Weathering Shame” with his wife, social worker Linda Rota.


On the lighter side, the students watched comedy juggler Jason Tardy perform. Tardy told them that patience was a key to his success as a performer and that setting goals and having a positive focus will make it easier for them to make healthy choices and good decisions for their lives.

Mountain Valley Middle School teacher Brenday Longway, left, and student Trinity Blodgett work together to make Blodgett’s bracelet with the message “Love Yourself,” during Believe in Yourself Day on Friday. (Submitted photo)

High energy juggler Jason Tardy performed at Mountain Valley Middle School on Friday during Believe in Yourself Day at the school. (Submitted photo)

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