Signs of hope emerge at Tukes Valley

Members of the Tukes Valley Middle School DREAM TeamLooking around Tukes Valley Middle School, you might notice some signs. Literal ones. With messages including “Your Life Matters” and “Comparison is the thief of joy,” the signs are designed to bring hope to students, staff and visitors.

The campaign is the work of a new Tukes club led by teacher Blake Bowers that recently expanded from Chief Umtuch Middle School. The DREAM Team is the youth extension of the Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance. These youth leaders are focused on empowering their peers to live drug-free lives and engaging in honest conversations about drugs, alcohol and coping with stress or depression.

Approximately Tukes 20 students have already joined the DREAM Team. The students selected the signs with positive messages written in English and Spanish and placed them around their school, echoing similar signs at Fire District 3. DREAM Team members hope that their peers will absorb the positive message and learn to “be kind to themselves,” eighth-grader Ema Ashford said. Another important takeaway for their peers: “Don’t get into drugs and alcohol,” said Seth Kent, also an eighth grader.

School-wide announcements and activities in conjunction with September’s Suicide Prevention Month will create another opportunity for dialogue about mental health.

Next month, the team will attend the Washington State Prevention Summit alongside similar groups from all over the state. At the summit they’ll select a project to work on over the school year. The process will culminate in a presentation at the Washington State Spring Youth Forum.

Just a few weeks into the school year, the Tukes DREAM Team is well on its way toward having a positive impact on students, staff, families and the community.

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak with a trained listener, call 988. Visit for crisis chat services or for more information.


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