'Save a Child' Training Program is in Aberdeen

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Substance abuse, depression, suicide, and violence are all issues that affect today's children.

The 'Save a Child' Training Program was created to help educators learn how to take action when they see a student at risk.

"It's just another tool so that the teacher can help this child through a troubled time," Kevin Harr, a member of the Masonic Lodge in Redfield said.

The Mason's of South Dakota have been hosting the program for more than a decade.

"What we look at is at risk children all the way up to K-12," Bryant Stokes, Mason Grand Lodge of South Dakota Member.

Over the years, the Mason's have seen the program grow.

"It was a program to find out why and how to prevent it from happening again, and in this day and age with school shootings and everything, it's more prevalent than ever," Harr said.

Teachers in attendance describe the program as "strength based."

"It does look at what do the kids bring to the table that are positive, and spin it to look at the positives in the child and how we can utilize those strengths to move forward to overcome some of the deficits," said elementary school teacher Jill Osterberg.

Jill Osterberg has attended the workshop for two years. She has seen the benefits in her school.

"It's really helped us to view students in a different light, helped them to understand that we are a team that comes together to help the whole student," Osterberg said.

She sees the program continuing to change the lives of students and teachers.

"It impacts students everyday, and understanding that students come with full plates everyday," Osterberg said.

That's exactly what the Mason's hope to see long into the future.

"I think this program is going to go on for a long time," Harr said.

The three day program is free to educators. The next stop will be in Rapid City in February of 2020.