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Nov 2, 2017

Excelsior High School Still Says No to Drugs

Excelsior High School launched its annual drug awareness week today in Belize City. As a part of the activities, students are participating in a number of competitions, which school officials hope will drive home the message to stay away from drugs.  Celebrated under the theme, “Standing as one, together we can make this a drug free land,” school counselor Greta Jenkins tells us how they are raising awareness on campus.

 

Greta Jenkins, Counselor, Excelsior High School

“We notice that we have a lot of drug use within the high schools, especially marijuana use and drug use with people that fall within these age ranges; so, we thought it would be good to raise awareness of the issue and the effects of using marijuana especially with young people, because it affects a young adult differently from how it affects an adult.”

 

Greta Jenkins

Andrea Polanco

“How does the school put together a message that is going to encourage them not to take up drugs?”

 

Greta Jenkins

“To be honest it is very hard, indeed because a lot of the young people believe that marijuana does not affect them negatively in any way, in fact some of them believe it helps them to perform better. So, it is a challenge. But what we did, we found a way for them to get involved. We did a rapping competition, poetry, essay writing, t-shirt, tennis designing, and so we created a theme and they had to create different activities within the theme and it made them want to participate more because it is a competition. And they are going to be winning good prizes, cash prizes, and bank accounts and all of those things for them.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How do you measure if this Drug Awareness Week is really working, how do you evaluate?”

 

Greta Jenkins, Counselor, Excelsior High School

“Well, what we try to do – what we are doing also is that we are doing a quiz competition and so it measures a little bit to see what all they have learnt with the quiz completion and then we notice it in the behavior. Because we do have children come to school – from they come to school they are high already in the morning and so we can measure more or less if they are talking awareness of the issue by the change in their behavior.”

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