Wood County Prevention

Eastwood Local Schools- October 2017

Let's Talk- Kyla McCoy

On Wednesday, November 1st, Eastwood High School held an opiate awareness night sponsored by the school’s club, One Step Ahead. Lorrie Lewandowski, Ryan Richards, Hannah Madaras, Belinda Brooks, Nicole Lange, and Ethan Downey presented on how drugs and opiates have affected their lives, loved ones, and jobs. Students, parents, teachers, and community members came to Eastwood to hear what everyone had to say and how they could help out their community members that are struggling with addiction. There was also booths set up along the hallway that had information about what the presenters spoke about. There was also information about healthy ways to get rid of extra and unnecessary prescriptions in areas around them, as well as in their own home. Throughout the night, Channel 24 news was there to interview students and speakers along with promoting student leaders in One Step Ahead. It was a great night to venture out in the community and obtain information on why to keep a healthy, drug free life.


Red Ribbon Week- Allie Lucas

Red Ribbon Week kicked off at Eastwood High School on October 23rd-October 27th. Red Ribbon Week is a week promoting alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence awareness and prevention campaign that occurs every year in October. This special week is organized by OSA, and is designed to bring students together and unite against harmful drugs and alcohol usage. Every day there was a different theme that the students could dress up to show their support for red ribbon week and a drug free life style. The days were:

Monday: PJ Day “Follow Your Dreams. Don't Do Drugs"

Tuesday: Hawaiian Day "Lei Off Drugs"

Wednesday: Nerd Day "Be Smart, Don't Do drugs"

Thursday: Halloween Costumes "Scare Away Drugs!"

Friday: Wear Red "Red-y to live drug free"

In addition to these fun days, OSA also had a table set up every morning where anyone who participated in the theme for the day could write their name down and put it in the bucket for their grade. Every day there was a drawing and one lucky person in each grade would receive a fun prize. Red ribbon week is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about harmful drugs and alcohol, and bring the school together.

Team Recovery- Ashley Hodulik

On October 24, two people from Team Recovery came to Eastwood to present their stories to students in grades 7-12. Juan and Matt Bell both were addicted to heroin at one point in their lives. Juan shared his story of how he became addicted to heroin and how he battled his addiction. Juan was introduced to drugs at a young age, and he slowly found himself using heroin. Matt Bell then proceeded to share his story. He came from a stable home. After having shoulder surgery and being prescribed percocet, Matt found himself involved with drugs and later heroin. After many years of heroin use, Juan and Matt both found a way to become sober. Now, they talk to schools and other adults to try and help raise awareness of heroin use and its dangerous nature. Matt talked to the students and informed them to make positive choices and surround themselves with people who they aspire to be. Both Matt and Juan spread a message to the students to remain true to who they are and never become involved with drugs or heroin.

One Step Ahead/ Junior Teen Institute

One Step Ahead (OSA) is a drug free leadership program for high school students. Through the program, students develop the skills to become a positive leader within their schools and communities. Students are also equipped with the knowledge and abilities to not only make positive choices for themselves, but also to encourage their peers to make healthy decisions.

If you are in middle school the group is called Junior Teen Institute. Same concept different name.

Our meeting times for One Step Ahead will be the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month at 7:20am in the Eagles Nest.

November JTI Meetings:

Tuesday November 14th during AA

Monday November 27th during AA

Start Talking: Know! To Foster Empathy for Bullying Prevention

October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

In the previous tip, Know! The End of Bullying Begins With YOU, we learned that in 2016, more than one in five students reported being bullied, and that regardless of what position a child is in - a target, bully, or bystander – they are at increased risk for a variety of mental health and behavioral problems, including substance abuse.

In addition to positive role modeling and conversations specifically telling students, “It is never ok to hurt, harm, or humiliate another person with your words or behavior,” we can further help prevent bullying by fostering empathy.

By definition, empathy is the power to understand perspectives other than your own; the ability to recognize and share the emotions of another person. Essentially it is, “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.”

Experts say empathy is an essential life skill that all youth should be taught to master, and that those youth who are more empathetic tend to perform better in school and have healthier relationships. It is a popular belief, in fact, that a person’s emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (E.Q.), which includes one’s ability to empathize, carries more weight than a person’s intelligence quotient (I.Q.) when it comes to determining one’s overall success in life. Empathy is also an essential factor in teaching youth what bullying is and how NOT to engage in it.

Here are some ways to teach and strengthen your students’ ability to empathize (according to TeachHub.com):

  • Be a positive example: Your students spend a great deal of time with you and your influence is mighty. Keep in mind that they are learning from your character and behaviors as much as they are from your academic instruction. Be a consistent, positive role model of empathy, showing a caring, compassionate, understanding attitude toward your students and others.

  • Create the environment: Establish an environment of trust and understanding within your classroom, so that students are more likely to open up and be open-minded toward others.

  • Include lots of stories: Stories are perhaps the closest thing we have to “Walking around in someone else’s skin.” They make us more human and develop our ability to understand and sympathize with others’ experiences.

  • Work on communication strategies: The idea here is to help students find the words to express their feelings, in both their speaking and their writing.

  • Offer collaborative group tasks: As students work together they experience somewhat of a group molding that brings them together, sharing in victory or sometimes in defeat. In either case, they experience it together and that allows them to practice empathy with their peers.

  • Identify shared values and differences: Provide opportunities for your students to be open with one another through discussions and activities to learn what others’ perspectives might include.

  • Free and structured interaction: Having students freely interact within the classroom can help to build bonds between groups and open the door to mutual understanding.

While some students are naturally more empathetic than others, it is truly a skill that can be fostered and strengthened. As instructors, you are in a position to help build bridges between individuals with diverse perspectives, teaching them to look beyond themselves and be mindful, understanding, respectful, and considerate of other student’s complex emotions, feelings, and experiences.

In The Media

Here are a couple of news articles to keep you updated of what is going on in our society. It is important to know this type of information when it comes to educating your youth.



On-Site Prevention Specialist- Hannah Madaras

I am the On-Site Prevention Specialist for Eastwood Local Schools. I am in the district every Tuesday and Friday.

My responsibilities:

- Problem Identification (Referrals: Behavior, ATOD use, social support)

- Life Skills Education Classes in HS

- Class Action Education Classes in HS

- Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer

- One Step Ahead Advisor

- Junior Teen Institute Advisor