Students like to learn from their peers. That is the basis for a new school resource to teach drug prevention in all 32 middle and high school classes in the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools.
According to Kathy Jordan, WS/FCS Safe and Drug-free Schools Program specialist, “People tend to gravitate toward stories that they can relate to. It is our hope that our students will make a personal connection with the local teens highlighted in the book “Under the Influence: The Town That Listened to its Kids.”
These stories — which originally received a first place award by the North Carolina Press Association — capture the raw voices of teens who relate the problems caused by drugs and underage drinking. At the same time, the book spotlights local students who avoided these pitfalls and became positive peer leaders at school. Written by Patty Jo Sawvel “Under the Influence,” also chronicles the history of the district’s “It’s My Call” voluntary drug testing program originally piloted by Carver High School.
To assist 110 health teachers in the district, each teacher received a copy of the book. Also, health literacy training was held in December with online classes for those who could not attend.
“We have invested in training our teachers and allocated $7,500 from a Chartwells food service grant to support this initiative, but we are counting on local businesses to sponsor classroom sets of the books for each of the schools,” said Superintendent Don Martin.
The hardcover books can be sponsored at a 42 percent discount for the schools. For more information, contact author Patty Jo Sawvel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336-869-9102.