We launched the Better Safe Than Sorry Project with a kickoff today at Churchill High School. Our project aims to empower young adults to make informed decisions about alcohol and other drug use, including it’s consequences. Our focus on prenatal alcohol exposure and the reproductive health consequences of alcohol use is incorporated into broader messages, presented in a format that is both light-hearted and serious. This “train the trainer” approach attempts to engage adolescent “change agents” in the program development to tailor each school-based project according to each school’s interests.
Dr. Joan Benz, the principal of Churchill High School (#1 public high school in Maryland for 2013), requested our leadership to develop a Churchill BSTS campaign after she heard Dr. Rich present in Baltimore at the FASD and the Law Summit (read former article). Over the past several weeks, BSTS volunteers collaborated with Churchill students and staff in a series of 4 focus groups designed to train students as change agents while getting their direction, feedback and perspectives about the campaign. Together, we developed the BSTS Project’s kick off presentation for Churchill seniors that we held on April 2nd.
The multimedia presentation (developed during the focus groups) was designed to prepare seniors for prom, graduation, beach week, college and beyond. The Safety Tips evolved out of Dr. Rich’s desire to catch the students’ attention while sharing important information for healthy transitioning. Her father, a retired police officer, helped start the original MADD (Mothers against Drunk Driving) programs in Randolph and Guilford County, NC and has been an inspiration in her prevention efforts. As a child psychiatrist, she always appreciates the simple approach of children’s books to get serious points across. “Officer Buckle and Gloria” by Peggy Rathmann is the inspiration for the safety tips, with David Letterman’s “Top Ten reasons” lists providing additional humor. To get an idea on how Officer Buckle and Gloria presented their Safety Tips watch the book reading on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmViPSWwbPY
Our aim with this first presentation is:
1) To empower High School students to make informed personal decisions about alcohol use;
2) To kickoff our student led blog and internship program;
3) To inspire Churchill students and faculty to begin incorporating messages about reproductive health consequences of alcohol use into their curriculum, and
4) To help develop and empower student leadership toward prevention initiatives on a broader scale by posting the presentation to our blog, which has the potential to reach a global audience.
Our Safety Tips are:
Safety Tip #10: Be Smart – Beware of Prom Gaming
Safety Tip #9: Fashion Tip. Don’t Vomit on your Favorite Clothes
Safety Tip #8: Use Common Sense. Limo drivers are smart.
Safety Tip #7: Catch 22
EtOH (til21) & Mj r illegal – 18 y.o.’s go to jAIL not juvie.
Safety Tip #6: Be Self-conscious. Beware of Black Outs & Booty Calls
Safety Tip #5: Have Self-respect. Avoid Social Media Frights!
Safety Tip #4: Be a good Samaritan. Take care of friends
Safety Tip # 3: Know your limit. We are NOT all EQUAL
Safety Tip #2: Be safe. Learn Self-Defense
Safety Tip #1: If you use alcohol, CONTRACEPT. If pregnant or might be, AVOID alcohol.
Copyright by Dr. Susan D. Rich Better Safe Than Sorry Campaign
In upcoming posts, more details on each safety tip will be provided along with information, useful web links and resources.
Feel free to spread the word or to get in touch with our team for further questions on our Better Safe Than Sorry Campaign.