Paul Zinni, Superintendent
1 Patrick Clark Drive
Avon, MA 02322
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Avon High School Group Works with Elementary School Students on Substance Abuse Prevention
AVON — Superintendent Paul Zinni is pleased to announce that the high school group, Students Advocating Life without Substance Abuse (SALSA), recently spoke to several Avon elementary school students about saying no to drugs and alcohol.
On Thursday, April 12, 10 members of the SALSA club visited fifth and sixth grade students at Butler Elementary School to give a presentation.
At the beginning of the school year, the SALSA members signed pledges stating that they would not use any drugs or alcohol. They also committed to being leaders at school and in the community and would strive to be role models to their peers and fellow students.
In their presentation to the elementary school students, they spoke about their personal reasons for remaining drug and alcohol free and how their decisions impact the goals they have set for themselves.
The presentation included skits where students successfully declined peer pressure by demonstrating refusal skills and making healthy and smart choices.
The SALSA students were able to make personal connections with their younger peers as part of the presentation and helped them formulate their own refusal responses when faced with peer pressure and unhealthy choices.
“This is a great way for some of our younger students to see first-hand that it’s OK to say no to drugs and alcohol. They’re hearing it directly from high school students who have been in some of these situations before,” said Amanda Decker, Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist for Avon. “Because young people still have developing brains, they tend to act first and think second. Developing refusal skills at a young age helps younger students to be prepared with a well thought out response before they encounter a decision involving unhealthy behavior.”
In addition to the presentation, an email letter was also sent home to parents and guardians to help them follow up with their children to strengthen their refusal skills.