ARCANUM — The Arcanum-Butler Schools chapter of Darke County We Are the Majority staged a “friendly Color War” with students from Franklin Monroe in Pitsburg Saturday afternoon.
The event featured snacks, prizes, karaoke and other fun activities.
The main event consisted of students from the opposing schools throwing water balloons and packets of powdered paint at each other on the lawn behind the Arcanum Field House.
We Are The Majority is an after-school leadership program organized by Recovery and Wellness Centers of Midwest Ohio. The program is open to high school and middle school students throughout the county and focuses on teaching young people to encourage their peers to live drug and alcohol-free lives.
Activities organized by the group include after-school study sessions for elementary and middle school students, a summer camp, art classes and a variety of other events. We Are the Majority also recently spearheaded a program to offer discounts on car insurance to students who make a pledge to remain drug-free.
Any student who is drug and alcohol-free is able to participate in the program, which is based on the We Are the Majority Initiative begun by Gov. John Kasich. The driving focus of the program is to promote the fact that, despite the significance of the opioid crisis, the majority of students are not abusers of alcohol or drugs.
School counselor Ashley Matheson helped organize the Arcanum-Butler We Are the Majority chapter with her friend Kelly Harrison. Harrison is a prevention specialist at Darke County Recovery Services.
Saturday’s event was arranged by Hailey Sager, 14, a freshman at Arcanum High School currently in her second year of involvement with We Are the Majority.
“Last year we did an event at the YMCA,” Sager said. “So I thought, ‘Let’s get another school involved.’ And I thought throwing paint at each other would be fun.”
To facilitate the event, Sager and other We Are the Majority members traveled to Franklin Monroe to convince students there to sign up.
“We did an assembly to tell them what We Are the Majority was all about, and to invite them to come,” Sager said.
The hope, Recovery Services specialist Kelly Harrison said, was to encourage students at Franklin Monroe to start their own chapter of We Are the Majority.
“I’m very proud of our Arcanum students, as they created the event today,” Harrison said. “They met for hours to make this plan a reality. What I love most about this is the collaboration between schools, and the sense of community.”
Students sang a few rounds of karaoke before the Color War began in earnest. Then Sager spoke briefly to kick off the event.
“Thank you all for coming,” Sager said, “and have fun getting messy!”
Those interested in learning more about We Are the Majority, or about resources for battling drug addiction in Darke County, may contact Recovery and Wellness Centers of Midwest Ohio at 937-423-3423.