The Healthy Choices campaign, under the philosophic Community Education Continuum, is winding down as a very successful venture during this school year.
It had great community support from leaders and citizens who stated that the month of June would be dry in Sooke. The event was in support of EMCS Dry Grad and giving them the Healthy Choice initiative to abstain from consuming alcohol. Thereby resulting in a healthier community.
Many people were brought together to talk about alcohol and drug awareness, including parents who focused on their children’s need to stay away from alcohol. Addiction comes very quickly and even more so at a young age. Students said staying away from alcohol and other drugs is making them feel better and healthier each time they make healthy choices. A crisis worker talked with grade 11/12 psychology students about alcohol consumption and found that making healthy choices did not have a negative desire to consume any illegal substance.
A grant application to District of Sooke brought forward $2,400 as a result of excellent presentations from RCMP Cpl. Scott Hilderley and resident Ellen Lewers. The objectives of the Healthy Choice group are to develop a healthy community with diminished crime rates, increased drug-alcohol awareness, reduced physical abuse, accidents, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and deaths related to drugs-alcohol.
Proposed activities or methods to achieve the above are:
•Create alcohol free events;
•Be involved in the school with students helping to guide them with healthy choices;
•Partnering with Sooke Community Association for drug and alcohol free family picnics and events;
•Partnering with all the schools and educating the public about services available for alcohol and drug abusers.
Packages of information will be made available at the Canada Day celebration.
There will be continuation of presentations in the next school year relating to healthy choices for the kids We will be implementing a writing project which will focus upon kids pursuing excellence through healthy choices.
There will be an establishment of a Drug Free Scholarship at EMCS, which will reward students who make a lifestyle out of making healthy choices.
We will be training seniors at EMCS to become role models for elementary school students. This will create a better foundation for a “Dry Month of June” (which has been hugely successful this year) for next spring; and incorporating more of the general public (ie. businesses, service groups, the First Nations communities) into becoming role models for the kids by delivering “healthy choices” messaging.
We give great thanks to all the people who have watered the Healthy Choice seed we planted. As it grows, we will branch out further and the result will be a healthy community with diminished crime rates, lower drug/alcohol use, changing belief systems and healthy, thriving kids. Thanks goes out to the District of Sooke for the grant, the principal and teachers of EMCS, and to the Sooke News Mirror for being very helpful publishing our press releases. We are inviting EMCS students to come forward and join the Healthy Choice under CPEC philosophy.