Circle widens for Operation Snowflake at Hinsdale Central
Fletcher Spillers (left) and Marcus Gruvberger participate in a team exercise. Hinsdale Central hosted Operation Snowflake, a program for feeder school districts for kids to learn about making good decisions and dealing with peer pressure. | Joe Cyganowsk
Updated: May 13, 2013 2:10AM
Operation Snowflake at Hinsdale Central High School is allowing younger students to widen their circles.
This year, for example, about 15 students from Butler Junior High participate for the first time in the program, designed as an introduction to Central’s Operation Snowball, which acts as a prevention program for youth and offers resources on healthy lifestyles, leadership and communication skills.
‘I think in the past, we haven’t gone because we have our own retreats for students,” said Butler Assistant Principal Marybeth Marinier. “We decide to participate this year because we believe there’s a need for our students to widen their social circle. And this program offers a great opportunity for them to meet kids from other schools in the area and from the high school.”
Butler Principal Stephanie Palmer said such programs always help kids.
“It is a great chance for them to get to know other kids, and the program offers help to them in finding themselves,” Palmer said.
Jim Kupres, a Central social worker who is a coordinator of Operation Snowflake, said decision-making is a major focus.
“The most important things we want the middle school kids to learn is making good decisions and don’t feed into peer pressure,” he said.
Seventh-grader Courtney Ciciora initially decided to attend Operation Snowflake because her sister, Amanda, is a Central junior who is one of the students leaders.
“But it is also a good way to meet other people from different schools,” Courtney said. “It’s something fun and interesting.”
Marinier said only a handful of Butler students initially expressed interest in attending.
“It really seemed to take off; more kids wanted to go,” she said. “I think some of the kids started talking about it in a positive way, and that got other kids interested.”~.