High school students taught middle school students about making good decisions.
The program, “Blast Off–A Substance Free Life”–had four interactive stations representing alcohol, marijuana, drugs and self image.
The alcohol group started with something called the Hershey Kiss relay.
They ran across the Bridge Street Middle School gym, opened a Hershey kiss and ran back.
It was easy, in a sober state.
But to understand the effect of alcohol, they then did it differently.
“They put on gardening gloves that are a little bit oversize and then they try to open the Hershey kiss and it’s a lot harder to do,” explained Martha Polinsky of the Community Impact Coalition.
The students are 5th and 6th graders.
Their “teachers” are area high school students.,
At the prescription pill station, they played a game.
“It was called Candy Or Medicine,” said Leah Bailer, a Wheeling Central student. “We put up two pictures and they held up cards, which one they thought it was. It was kind of tricky because certain candy like Smartees kind of look like certain medicine, like Tums.”
“For the Good Or Bad Decision game, there’s scenarios laid out and they get to say whether it’s good or bad and hold up signs,” said Griffon Stenger of Wheeling Central.
At the self esteem station, they wrote about their own–and each other’s–good points.
“They also look at one negative thing that they don’t like or that makes them sad or angry,” said Polinsky. “They put that on paper, then they feed it through a paper shredder.”
At the marijuana station, they play board games, being denied skill cards because they wouldn’t have those skills if they were under the influence.
“While we were giving them the information, they were kind of bored,” said McKenzie Buchanan of East Richland Christian High School. “But once they started playing the game, then they actually started getting it.”
The program was put on by the Community Impact Coalition.