Two Rivers Student Club Grounded in Peer Education

The Digital Well-Being Club is all about peer education—high school students educating each other on a more balanced and intentional use of digital media.



Published May 2024

Did you know Two Rivers High School is home to a unique student club? The Digital Well-Being Club, now in its second year, takes a different approach to building awareness around healthy technology habits. It's all about peer education—high school students educating each other on digital media usage. This approach, according to Two Rivers teacher and club advisor Tom Myer, is more effective as the messages come from young people who are also immersed in technology. The club's primary goal is to encourage a more balanced and intentional use of digital media, and the students are actively working towards this.

Club members meet every other week to discuss habits and trends and support one another regarding intentional phone and technology use in a nonjudgmental space. Last year, the club hosted an outreach effort, Log-off Lunch, at Two Rivers and attended a day-long youth summit on digital well-being sponsored by the organization LiveMore ScreenLess, which provided Two Rivers with information that guided its current no-phone policy.

This year, the students wanted to broaden their outreach to middle schoolers—many of the club's members have younger siblings or have worked with children and felt compelled to share their digital journey and open up a dialog on healthy media habits. "Addiction to screen time is a problem within this generation, and so learning from a young age how to use screens safely and intentionally is incredibly important," one of the club's members said. 

Students pitched the idea to go onsite at the middle schools and got to work developing a presentation, Q&A, and activities. The group spent two mornings at Heritage with fifth and sixth-grade classes. Middle schoolers listened to their older peers detail their cell phone use and share personal stories, creating an inviting environment of trust where they could open up and fully engage in the activities. Two Rivers student member Catalina felt the smaller group break-out sessions were successful. "In my group, the kids shared so much more about how they felt about this topic, which felt great to hear," she shared. 

When asked what they learned, the middle schoolers shared things like the impact of technology on their relationships with family and friends, and the need to set boundaries for screen time and reduce phone usage. One student expressed the value of hearing about these topics from peers, noting that it felt different and almost better than hearing it from adults. Another club member observed that in just under an hour, the middle schoolers were able to recognize their unhealthy habits and were already adjusting their thinking and learning about their screen usage.

The high schoolers concluded their visit by sharing advice they would give to their middle school selves. The group aims to visit middle school classrooms more often next school year and possibly elementary schools as well. Their goal is to show and teach kids that it's not just about avoiding technology; it's much more than that!

We are so proud of the Digital Well-Being Club for starting this new and very important initiative. They have taken action this year and have already made a difference. We eagerly anticipate following your outreach efforts next school year!