ARCANUM — Although Recovery and Wellness’s ‘We Are The Majority’ Drug Free Youth-Led program (WATM) may look a little different during the pandemic, students are still engaged in making positive change in schools and are hosting socially distanced community activities. The WATM program was developed in Darke County approximately seven years ago to share the message that a majority of teens abstain from drug, alcohol and tobacco use and pave the way to a brighter future. WATM could not be possible without the help of community partners and The United Way who make significant contributions to the program.
Recently, Arcanum and Tri-Village schools have partnered with Recovery Wellness Center (RWC) to have prevention staff on site to work with drug and alcohol abuse prevention as well as mental health promotion for the schools. According to Kelly Harrison, Student Success Liaison for Arcanum-Butler and Tri-Village Schools, the idea of protecting health needs to start early. There are specific, evidenced based, prevention curricula used to help students learn age appropriate ways to cope with life’s many challenges. One program for skill building, “The Incredible Years,” is taught to all kindergartners at Tri-Village and Arcanum Schools.
Recently, Dr. Cherry and Dr. Williams, of Cherry & Williams Dental (Greenville and Arcanum), donated toothpaste and toothbrushes for an important lesson in dental health. In addition, Shaun Hayes of Berkshire-Hathaway made a generous donation to cover the cost of “We are the Majority” merchandise. The WATM gear helps students share their stance and the importance of being a drug, alcohol and tobacco free student. The staff at RWC would like to thank Dr. Cherry, Dr. Williams, and Shaun Hayes for their generous support of prevention education.
The Coalition for a Healthy Darke County was instrumental in the recent youth-led Red Ribbon Week and they YMCA has been supportive by providing exercise classes for teen leaders to enhance their physical and mental health. We are proud of students who are making the movement to decrease drug abuse and thankful for how our community comes together to help our mission.
For more information, or to learn of upcoming events and activities, please contact prevention specialist Zoe Harter at [email protected] or student success liaison Kelly Harrison at [email protected] Interested individuals may also request to “join” the FB page titled “Darke County We Are The Majority” to follow upcoming events for 2nd to 6th graders and leaders.