ARCANUM — Arcanum-Butler School District received a $3,000 grant through the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County, to help their students focus on drug prevention and making good choices.
The grant will pay for a “Y Night” (YMCA of Darke County) in March, featuring pizza and games, also sponsored by the We are the Majority group. We are the Majority is a county-wide peer-led group comprised of drug and alcohol-free “Majority Teens,” who are interested in spreading on-going awareness. The group is under the facilitation of Prevention Specialist Kelly Harrison through Recovery and Wellness Centers of Midwest Ohio.
Arcanum-Butler Schools recently started a We are the Majority group, whose members were introduced at a school assembly Tuesday.
“Our membership has been awesome,” Harrison said to the students. “I am really excited to get this program started at Arcanum. I am really proud of our community for taking it back, and trying to get rid of the drug abuse and addiction. It all starts with you guys. You guys make the choice, and you guys have the power to make change.”
The grant also paid for a presentation “Goliath” from motivational speaker Logan Weber, of Atlanta, Georgia, who spoke to Arcanum elementary and middle school students during two separate assemblies, Tuesday.
Goliath strives to teach people to identify their barriers, challenges, and obstacles, which Weber refers to as Goliaths, that are possibly blocking the path to their goals. In a spirited re-telling of the classic story “David and Goliath” where Goliath was the Biblical warrior defeated by the young David in the Book of Samuel, Logan told the students how to face down Goliaths in their lives, by shifting their vision from the obstacles in their way to the rewards awaiting their future. A few of the strategies discussed included: the importance of shifting their vision, how to deal with setbacks, the power of attitude and working together as a team to accomplish great things.
“Students, I believe this gymnasium is full of modern-day ‘Davids,’” Weber said. “You’ve been born with everything you need to be successful. But the recipe for success is that you have got to believe in yourself. You’ve got to keep a good attitude, and when people tell you that you’re not good enough-don’t listen-because you are. When life throws at you a giant, like a Goliath; a giant like the drug epidemic that is sweeping across this state; a giant like your parents going through a divorce; a giant like you have to overcome a failure in your life; you keep telling yourself, ‘I am good enough; I failed at something but I am not a failure; my failures don’t define me as such’. You have to keep that self-belief and that positive attitude, and keep striving to become the best version of yourself.”
Eighth-grade We are the Majority members Madelyn Fearon and Bella O’Daniel both took Weber’s words to heart, they said. Fearon said she learned about looking beyond today, and what is in store for the future.
“I want to take what he said and use it,” O’Daniel said. “I think it can really help. He also told it in a way that little kids can understand too.”
Arcanum-Butler Middle School Principal Marcus Bixler said he is happy to have a We are the Majority group at the school. He also said that Weber does an outstanding job of getting the kids to think about things that are not necessarily academic-related.
“He stresses the idea of being able to believe in yourself, and the understanding that everybody encounters Goliaths,” Bixler said. “It doesn’t matter if you are a kid or an adult, these things happen in and out of school. Being able to relate that message to kids is powerful, and it goes a long way. We are happy to have the opportunity to bring him back in.”
Arcanum K-8 School Counselor Ashley Matheson also said she wants Weber to return.
“He is energetic, exciting and the kids are motivated by him,” Matheson said. “They want to be better because of what he has to say; it is inspirational. With the help of the grant from the Coalition, we are promoting good choices to avoid the drug epidemic; that is our whole goal and focus. Another one of our avenues to try to combat that is our newly formed We are the Majority group.”
Darke County Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County President Sharon Deschambeau said Matheson applied for the grant, according to her application, because she recognizes the need for drug prevention education at an early age.
“The Coalition believes that by providing consistent, age appropriate, evidence-based substance abuse prevention education for all students, beginning in kindergarten, we can change the culture in Darke County,” Deschambeau said.
The Coalition board of directors offered all of the county schools grants for substance abuse prevention education, awarding a total of $21,000 to multiple schools for the 2017-18 school year, Deschambeau said.
The recent Substance Abuse Prevention Education grants to local schools were made possible through support from the following: Matt and Angie Arnold, the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County, Darke County United Way, Wayne and Sharon Deschambeau, Premier Health, Ramco Electric Motors, Rotary Club of Greenville, Second National Bank, Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services, Wayne HealthCare and Wayne HealthCare Foundation.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.