Voices for Health
The Voices for Health Blog is an opportunity for the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition's members and partners to speak to an array of prevention topics such as healthy choices, substance abuse, intervention, treatment, and recovery. The goal of the Coalition is to strengthen community collaboration to reduce substance abuse among youth
Here’s an article by Yasmin Sarah, a FHMS student. Yasmin just finished 7th grade and is reflecting on the Rachel’s Challenge event that took place on February 8, 2012.
Although Rachel Joy Scott died 13 years ago, she is still remembered today by people who heard of her death. People are inspired by her dedication and the work she put into changing the world into a better place.
She always dreamed of starting a chain reaction and wanted kindness to spread across the world. She wanted peace to exist and for us to stop fighting and believe in ourselves. Rachel’s death was also shown as an inspiration on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and many people were captivated as they learned of her death. In fact, people have been inspired by her death, and were shocked to hear that she was the first to die at the Columbine School shooting.
Rachel has been challenging us to start a chain reaction, and so far, many people have accepted that challenge. People all over the world are already jumping into action and starting chains of kindness by writing kind things people have done for them, or something nice they‘ve done for someone, and linking it together as a chain that could stretch for miles.
Also, in Friday Harbor, a guest speaker has visited both the Elementary and Middle School and educated us on what Rachel did before she died as well as how she died. The assembly was about an hour or so long and told us how Rachel Scott was dedicated in her work, helped others, and always wanted to step in.
In the Friday Harbor Middle School, there have been groups who have teamed up and studied deeper into the past of Rachel, and a few even presented their own speeches about how they felt about Rachel. In fact, Nina Paige, a FHMS counselor and others are thinking about starting a club on Rachel Scott’s challenge.
Rachel’s challenge is happening all over the world, including our small town of Friday Harbor. Starting at the Friday Harbor Middle School dance, we have started a chain of kindness, and people have already started jotting down the kind things they or others have done for them. Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Oak are both helping out with the ‘Acts of Kindness’ chains, and are hoping they will be long enough to go around the school’s hallway several times. The Friday Harbor Middle School has gathered many acts of kindness so far, and they’re very excited to see what’s coming up next.
Will this new challenge impact the school? Will it impact the community? Will it impact the world? What can Friday Harbor do next? After finishing the challenge of starting a chain of kindness, what could they do?
People around the world have started fundraisers for people transmitted with cancer, raised money for those who are in need, and simply done everything they could to help those who needed it. So many people have started changing the world to become a better place, and people are being saved everyday because of Rachel’s challenge.
Rachel has inspired so many people, and each one that she’s inspired has accepted her challenge. They’re willing to do what she wanted us to do, and start a chain reaction. Due to Rachel’s challenge, schools all over the world have sprouted more kindness over these past few weeks. Some of the schools have been so impacted by her challenge that an immense number of students have been rising to help others.
Could Friday Harbor make a change? Could we all work together and stand up to start a chain reaction? Are we ready to accept her challenge?
Rachel Joy Scott challenged us personally in her essay – twice. So, are YOU ready to accept it?
What happened after Rachel’s Challenge?
We had two large groups form as a result of this program. About 20 or so youth from each school, FHES and FHMS were meeting on a regular basis during school lunch. The FHES is called the DREAM Team. The kids were choosing to make positive change in their schools to benefit everyone.
We also had a group from SSIS, Rock Solid, immediately return to school after the Rachel’s Challenge program and create a special oversized thank you card for a special staff member who isn’t always called out for her hard work and commitment to the school. Because Shelley Shelton-Wilson’s office is upstairs and she handles the accounting for the school, many students don’t get to see her in action, but her dedication helps keep the school running smoothly. She was thrilled when the whole student body signed the card and it was delivered with chocolates! These small acts of kindness can start a chain reaction! Are you up for the challenge?
“The San Juan Island Prevention Coalition is pleased that youth have taken the initiative to reach out to the community and extend the challenge. Great things have happened: Friday Harbor Elementary School created a weekly club that continued to create an environment of acts of kindness at the school, Spring Street International School acknowledged a special staff person, and a Friday Harbor High School Junior mentored by SJIPC developed and implemented a Grade 6 afterschool program to create dramatic vignettes that were presented to Friday Harbor Elementary School Grades 3-5 students in their classrooms. We hope Rachel’s messages and call to action continue on our island. A special thanks to Yasmin for drafting this reflection article.”
-Cynthia Stark-Wickman, SJI Prevention Coalition Executive Coordinator
To learn more about Rachel’s Challenge, you can visit the website at: http://www.rachelschallenge.org/
Washington, D.C. – Health advocates from San Juan County (San Juan Island Prevention Coalition and Lopez Island Prevention Coalition) are headed to Washington, D.C. Feb. 6-9, 2012 to join nearly 3,000 substance abuse prevention and treatment specialists and advocates from throughout the country for Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s (CADCA) 22nd annual National Leadership Forum. CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is the nation’s largest training for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers.
Besides the opportunity to learn the latest strategies to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, the coalition will also hear from such conference headliners as Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and James Fowler, Ph.D., author of Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, and a Professor in the School of Medicine and Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, San Diego.
The coalition will also have the opportunity to meet and brief Senators and members of Congress from their state during CADCA’s Capitol Hill Day.
In addition, our Prevention Coalition Coordinators, Cynthia Stark-Wickman of San Juan Island and Georgeana Cook of Lopez Island, and last year’s recipient Alex Cook of Lopez Island of CADCA’s Outstanding Youth Leadership Award and have been chosen to present at the National Leadership Forum this coming week! They will offer a workshop on mentoring for success and sustainability. Collaboration at its best!
The coalition has been working on supporting our youth of San Juan County. Last year, at the CADCA National Youth Leadership Initiative program one of our participants, Teddy McCullough of Lopez Island, incorporated his new learned skills to make a difference in his community. Teddy recently was announced as this year’s CADCA Outstanding Youth Leadership Award recipient and will also be a part of the presentation team from San Juan County at the National Leadership Forum this week!
CADCA’s National Leadership Forum features more than 100 training courses to help community and state leaders prevent and reduce substance abuse and its related problems. CADCA is the national membership organization representing more than 5,000 coalitions and affiliates working to makeAmerica’s communities safe, healthy and drug-free. CADCA’s mission is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions by providing technical assistance and training, public policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs, conferences, and special events. Learn more at: www.cadca.org.
For more information about CADCA’s National Leadership Forum, visit http://forum.cadca.org/.
Members of the media interested in press credentials to attend CADCA’s National Leadership Forum should contact Natalia Martinez Duncan at 703-706-0560, Ext. 256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel Scott was the first person killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Her acts of kindness and compassion coupled with the contents of her six diaries have become the foundation for one of the most life-changing school programs in America.
Please join us for this free community presentation, especially if you know a student who saw one of the Rachel’s Challenge assemblies earlier in the day (Feb. 8th). This powerful and moving story will offer our students, teachers and community a chance to inspire each other and make a chain reaction of kindness and compassion. Please invite your family, friends, neighbors, and community leaders. This evening presentation is geared toward teens and adults.
Enjoy a family friendly dinner of mac and cheese starting at 5:15pm in the FHMS Commons. The Food for Thought folks are generously preparing the meal. A donation is suggested at the door. Hope to see you all there!
Please thank our sponsors who make this possible! San Juan Island Community Foundation, San Juan Island Prevention Coalition, Minor Reinforcement, FHES PTA, FHMS PTSA, FHHS PTSA, and an in-kind donation for the childcare location, Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church/Lighthouse Preschool.
You can learn more about Rachel’s Challenge at: http://www.rachelschallenge.org/
Another great program, sponsored by the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition, is just around the corner!
Bring in the New Year with family, friends, and neighbors! Island Rec and the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition will be joining up once again to offer this alcohol-free community party. Music, entertainment, dancing, games, contests, and activities provide fun for people of all ages. We will have our clocks set to Eastern Standard Time to ring in the New Year! All ages are welcome, youth under 12 must be accompanied by and adult. Bring a savory or sweetsnack to share. Saturday, December 31st from 7-9 pm at the Mullis Center. See you there!
Thank you to our partner, Island Rec, for coordinating the event!
To learn more about Island Rec and their programs, visit their webiste at: http://www.islandrec.org/
Don’t forget that the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition now has a Facebook page. Click here to see it!
Try this quiz to see how well you know the myths and facts about alcohol and your health!
Follow this link to learn more about how Facebook is getting involved in suicide prevention. This is such a great idea!
United Way continues to provide invaluable support for our county’s youth through many organizations, including the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition (SJIPC).
Youth are experiencing an exciting combination of hands-on educational opportunities – being creatively challenged to discover their own and others’ natural gifts and leadership talents. Hundreds of children in every grade, from preschool to high school, have received support from United Way.
Unique, fun, team-building activities help young people develop essential life skills in problem-solving, communication, cooperation and healthy decision-making. United Way supported the expansion of Challenge this year to include the award-winning Yoga Calm curriculum; enhancing the ability of youth and teens to manage stress and develop healthy practices to improve their physical, emotional and mental well-being, as well as their academic achievement. Older teens are practicing leadership skills with younger youth to create “UNITY in commUNITY,” taking charge of the direction of their lives while helping others.
Please join the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition and our collaborators in thanking United Way of San Juan County for their vision of knowing that creating a healthy community depends on the way we care for our children.
- Alice Hibberd, Challenge Coordinator
Next June, consumers in Washington state will be able to buy hard liquor at grocery and warehouse stores, including Costco.
The link below highlights trend data from 2005 to 2009 on emergency department treatment visits involving energy drinks, and describes demographic characteristics associated with energy drinks consumed alone or in combination with alcohol or illicit or
These drinks are very popular among middle and high school students.
FHMS Participates in Youth Leadership Initiative Summit
By Brittanie Fenley, 9th grade student at FHHS
Friday Harbor High School and Middle School have got the beat. On Wednesday, September 28, Kenya Masala came to our school and jammed with us in the Turnbull Gym. We played the drums, laughed, and had fun with Kenya, an energetic man from Jamaica who did not put up with what he refers to as “ITC”, an “I’m too cool…”attitude.
The students jammed together for an hour, while Kenya talked about the benefits of being involved with the community and how it gives us a good feeling. After the high schoolers went back to their classes, the eighth graders stayed and learned what marijuana does to your body. The eighth grade students also defined what Courage, Communication, and Commitment meant to them. They said that courage is standing up for what you believe in, communication is expressing your thoughts and ideas to others, and commitment is sticking to your goals and giving your all in everything you do. The students were split into groups and made up sayings that they could use in the community.
After the day was over, I realized that everyone in our community is a leader. Also everything you do should always give you power over yourself. Stand up and become a part of your community in the San Juan Islands!
Thank you to the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition for putting on this full-day leadership summit.
Kenya Masala uses a technique called Kinesthetic Rhythma-Learning through which people interact with the basics of community development (respect, responsibility, synergy) via dynamic rhythmic sensory awareness activities. To learn more about Rhythm of Life with Kenya Masala, visit http://www.rhythmoflifedrumming.com/.
For further questions, inquiries, or to become involved, call the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition at 378-9683 or email at email@example.com.
You can also visit their blog at: http://blogs.sanjuanjournal.com/voicesforhealth/ or become a fan on Facebook!