It is an important time for prevention work. The Rochester community is lucky to have two SAPs in the school district and have even worked to integrate a LADC into their staff at the high school. Red Ribbon week is the perfect time to brag about all the great work being done while engaging youth and their community. Events can be bigger and feel more exciting with more involvement and support. Red Ribbon Week gives us some great examples of this. The high school and middle school had involvement from the local fire department, police department, media, drug free coalition, ROTC program, band/chorus and even our local cable company (Metrocast). When everyone is working together weeks such as Red Ribbon Week can be really exciting!
As Red Ribbon Week comes to an end The Rochester School District wanted to take this opportunity to thank the community for all their support in helping making weeks such as this a success! Spaulding High School and Rochester Middle School have worked to increase student access to drug and alcohol prevention services within school. The Safe Schools Healthy Students grant even employs a full time licensed alcohol and drug counselor within the school. Rochester Middle School and Spaulding High School worked to incorporate some national facts to help educate students as well as staff.
Spaulding staff members were provided a red ribbon pin as well as handouts outlining some facts:
FACT #1 — 5 million teens report they can get prescription drugs to get high within an hour. Keep your prescriptions out of sight, so your teens cannot have access. (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse)
FACT #2 — Between 6 and 7 million Americans, age 12 and older, have misused a prescription painkiller (e.g., OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin), sedative (e.g., Valium, Xanax), or stimulant (e.g., Ritalin, Adderall) in the past month. (SAMHSA)
FACT #3 — Almost 1 in 4 teens (23%) report abusing or misusing a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime. After marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the third most abused category of drugs. (Partnership for Drug-Free Kids)
Red Ribbon Week is a national drug prevention week where students were able to celebrate their commitment to making positive choices such as refusing to use drugs. Throughout the week Rochester Middle School's Student Assistance Counselor and Spaulding High Schools Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor were able to partner with The Safe Schools Healthy Students grant as well as Bridging the Gaps to put on some great activities for students. RMS had red ribbons hanging along the fences coming in the middle school and McClelland Elementary to help bring community awareness for Red Ribbon Week. Students participated in red ribbon week activities by pledging to be drug free that week by signing a banner, themed dress up days and a door decorating contest. Spaulding High School students took the pledge to make healthy decisions and participated in a drug free spirit week with themes such as team up against drugs; wear your favorite sports apparel.
The week wrapped up with an all school human red ribbon photo on Friday! The photo took place as a result of efforts from Bridging the Gaps, Spaulding High Schools ROTC program, Rochester Fire Department and Metrocast who generously lent a bucket truck for a great photo op.
Nicole Dale, MSW CPS LADC, Student Assistance Program Coordinator
Nicole Dale has been working within the Rochester School District within the realm of substance misuse prevention since 2010 under a variety of different grants. Beginning last year Nicole was able to begin to integrate LADC services within the high school. Most recently she is working to obtain her MLADC licensure. When not working she enjoys spending time with her four year old daughter and twelve year old dog.