Community Encouraged to "Thinkfast" at Game Show Event

Monday, June 02, 2014
FAIRMONT — Through an interactive game show event, students and the community had the chance to gain valuable lessons in a fun and dynamic way.

On Sunday, the Marion County Family Resource Network ended its Teen Leadership Camp with Thinkfast, and also brought this unique offering to the members of the public for free.

Debbie Mann, interim director of the FRN, said the organization’s annual Teen Leadership Camp for middle school students took place Saturday and Sunday at Fairmont State University, with the kids staying overnight in the dorms. College and high school Teen Task Force members led the younger students in fun character-building activities, promoted self-esteem and also focused on substance abuse prevention. Most of the students were from Marion County.

Many of the student leaders had attended the Students Against Destructive Decisions statewide conference, where they saw a presentation of Thinkfast and were impressed. So the FRN did some fundraising to bring Thinkfast to this year’s camp. The kids participated in the game show at the conclusion of the camp and they loved it, Mann said.

“It’s based on evidence, proven practices for getting prevention/awareness messages across, and to me, it’s almost with the kids not realizing that they’re getting that message because it’s in a fun, dynamic way,” she said.

The organization also offered Thinkfast as a free community event in Colebank Hall Sunday evening. The goal was to expose more people to this prevention/awareness message, which is offered in a high impact and different way with a lot of audience participation, Mann said.

Alan Weiner was the host of Thinkfast, and John Ganis was the disc jockey. Ganis said Thinkfast, which is offered by TjohnE Productions Inc. and is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is in its 15th or 16th season.

Thinkfast bounces to different locations around the country for about 10 and a half months of the year, offering this interactive trivia game to children in the fifth- or sixth-grades all the way up to college students. The company also does corporate events, he said.

Ganis explained that Thinkfast features different components, including computerized questions, special 20-second challenges, “Jeopardy!”-style rounds and plenty of music in the background, and teaches participants along the way.

The participants used wireless remote clickers to answer a variety of questions about everything from entertainment to science to history. At the same time, they learned important lessons about the dangers of alcohol, drugs and texting while driving, and the importance of wearing seat belts, surrounding themselves with positive figures and making good decisions. The winning team received a cash prize.

In addition to the game show aspect, the community event included giveaways and a chance for attendees to find out more information about the FRN and the Teen Task Force, Mann said.

“The Family Resource Network’s mission really is to work within the community to find what resources we have and promote them, make people aware of what’s available, and then also find the gaps in services and do what we can to collaborate, partner with other agencies, bring new grants into the community to help fill those gaps,” Mann said.

She said each FRN organization in the counties in West Virginia offers different programs depending on specific needs and resources. Right now, Marion County is mainly concentrating on family programming, youth programming and substance abuse prevention.

In addition to the Teen Leadership Camp, the Marion County FRN also holds day camps, including one right before school starts to help get kids in a positive mode, Mann said.

“One of the benefits of the camp is the mentoring,” she said.

These middle-school children are at critical ages for making decisions, and developing positive relationships with high school and college students gives them an additional support system.

“We could not provide events like this free to the community or our camp, which is free to the campers, without the support of the United Way of Marion County and the Marion County Commission and a lot of other donations in the community,” Mann  said. “The camp is funded solely on community support, and that’s vital to what we do. We’re very appreciative.”

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV. - See more at: http://www.timeswv.com/local/x1396872568/Community-encouraged-to-Thinkfa...
FAIRMONT — Through an interactive game show event, students and the community had the chance to gain valuable lessons in a fun and dynamic way.

On Sunday, the Marion County Family Resource Network ended its Teen Leadership Camp with Thinkfast, and also brought this unique offering to the members of the public for free.

Debbie Mann, interim director of the FRN, said the organization’s annual Teen Leadership Camp for middle school students took place Saturday and Sunday at Fairmont State University, with the kids staying overnight in the dorms. College and high school Teen Task Force members led the younger students in fun character-building activities, promoted self-esteem and also focused on substance abuse prevention. Most of the students were from Marion County.

Many of the student leaders had attended the Students Against Destructive Decisions statewide conference, where they saw a presentation of Thinkfast and were impressed. So the FRN did some fundraising to bring Thinkfast to this year’s camp. The kids participated in the game show at the conclusion of the camp and they loved it, Mann said.

“It’s based on evidence, proven practices for getting prevention/awareness messages across, and to me, it’s almost with the kids not realizing that they’re getting that message because it’s in a fun, dynamic way,” she said.

The organization also offered Thinkfast as a free community event in Colebank Hall Sunday evening. The goal was to expose more people to this prevention/awareness message, which is offered in a high impact and different way with a lot of audience participation, Mann said.

Alan Weiner was the host of Thinkfast, and John Ganis was the disc jockey. Ganis said Thinkfast, which is offered by TjohnE Productions Inc. and is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is in its 15th or 16th season.

Thinkfast bounces to different locations around the country for about 10 and a half months of the year, offering this interactive trivia game to children in the fifth- or sixth-grades all the way up to college students. The company also does corporate events, he said.

Ganis explained that Thinkfast features different components, including computerized questions, special 20-second challenges, “Jeopardy!”-style rounds and plenty of music in the background, and teaches participants along the way.

The participants used wireless remote clickers to answer a variety of questions about everything from entertainment to science to history. At the same time, they learned important lessons about the dangers of alcohol, drugs and texting while driving, and the importance of wearing seat belts, surrounding themselves with positive figures and making good decisions. The winning team received a cash prize.

In addition to the game show aspect, the community event included giveaways and a chance for attendees to find out more information about the FRN and the Teen Task Force, Mann said.

“The Family Resource Network’s mission really is to work within the community to find what resources we have and promote them, make people aware of what’s available, and then also find the gaps in services and do what we can to collaborate, partner with other agencies, bring new grants into the community to help fill those gaps,” Mann said.

She said each FRN organization in the counties in West Virginia offers different programs depending on specific needs and resources. Right now, Marion County is mainly concentrating on family programming, youth programming and substance abuse prevention.

In addition to the Teen Leadership Camp, the Marion County FRN also holds day camps, including one right before school starts to help get kids in a positive mode, Mann said.

“One of the benefits of the camp is the mentoring,” she said.

These middle-school children are at critical ages for making decisions, and developing positive relationships with high school and college students gives them an additional support system.

“We could not provide events like this free to the community or our camp, which is free to the campers, without the support of the United Way of Marion County and the Marion County Commission and a lot of other donations in the community,” Mann  said. “The camp is funded solely on community support, and that’s vital to what we do. We’re very appreciative.”

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV. - See more at: http://www.timeswv.com/local/x1396872568/Community-encouraged-to-Thinkfa... an interactive game show event, students and the community had the chance to gain valuable lessons in a fun and dynamic way.

Through an interactive game show event, students and the community had the chance to gain valuable lessons in a fun and dynamic way.

On Sunday, the Marion County Family Resource Network ended its Teen Leadership Camp with Thinkfast, and also brought this unique offering to the members of the public for free.

Debbie Mann, interim director of the FRN, said the organization’s annual Teen Leadership Camp for middle school students took place Saturday and Sunday at Fairmont State University, with the kids staying overnight in the dorms. College and high school Teen Task Force members led the younger students in fun character-building activities, promoted self-esteem and also focused on substance abuse prevention. Most of the students were from Marion County.

Many of the student leaders had attended the Students Against Destructive Decisions statewide conference, where they saw a presentation of Thinkfast and were impressed. So the FRN did some fundraising to bring Thinkfast to this year’s camp. The kids participated in the game show at the conclusion of the camp and they loved it, Mann said.

“It’s based on evidence, proven practices for getting prevention/awareness messages across, and to me, it’s almost with the kids not realizing that they’re getting that message because it’s in a fun, dynamic way,” she said.

The organization also offered Thinkfast as a free community event in Colebank Hall Sunday evening. The goal was to expose more people to this prevention/awareness message, which is offered in a high impact and different way with a lot of audience participation, Mann said.

Alan Weiner was the host of Thinkfast, and John Ganis was the disc jockey. Ganis said Thinkfast, which is offered by TjohnE Productions Inc. and is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is in its 15th or 16th season.

Thinkfast bounces to different locations around the country for about 10 and a half months of the year, offering this interactive trivia game to children in the fifth- or sixth-grades all the way up to college students. The company also does corporate events, he said.

Ganis explained that Thinkfast features different components, including computerized questions, special 20-second challenges, “Jeopardy!”-style rounds and plenty of music in the background, and teaches participants along the way.

The participants used wireless remote clickers to answer a variety of questions about everything from entertainment to science to history. At the same time, they learned important lessons about the dangers of alcohol, drugs and texting while driving, and the importance of wearing seat belts, surrounding themselves with positive figures and making good decisions. The winning team received a cash prize.

In addition to the game show aspect, the community event included giveaways and a chance for attendees to find out more information about the FRN and the Teen Task Force, Mann said.

“The Family Resource Network’s mission really is to work within the community to find what resources we have and promote them, make people aware of what’s available, and then also find the gaps in services and do what we can to collaborate, partner with other agencies, bring new grants into the community to help fill those gaps,” Mann said.

She said each FRN organization in the counties in West Virginia offers different programs depending on specific needs and resources. Right now, Marion County is mainly concentrating on family programming, youth programming and substance abuse prevention.

In addition to the Teen Leadership Camp, the Marion County FRN also holds day camps, including one right before school starts to help get kids in a positive mode, Mann said.

“One of the benefits of the camp is the mentoring,” she said.

These middle-school children are at critical ages for making decisions, and developing positive relationships with high school and college students gives them an additional support system.

“We could not provide events like this free to the community or our camp, which is free to the campers, without the support of the United Way of Marion County and the Marion County Commission and a lot of other donations in the community,” Mann  said. “The camp is funded solely on community support, and that’s vital to what we do. We’re very appreciative.”

This story by Jessica Borders is posted with permission from the Times West Virginian. E-mail Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.