What's New for Schools

whats new for schools
SEP
14
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Piscataway High School Back-to-School Night

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By Melisa Damcevska, Preventionist I The end of summer, the drop of the temperatures, and the start of a new school year also means schools are hosting annual Back-to-School Nights. These are annual events where parents and guardians are given an opportunity to experience the daily steps their children take while at school. Wellspring Center for Prevention hosted a table at Piscataway High School’s Back-to-School Night earlier this month. The staff came armed with information about substance use prevention and mental health promotion. Parents were able to collect valuable information and community resources right at the school. For many parents and youth, high school is a time of transition, growth and self-discovery, as well as a time where the susceptibility to substance use may skyrocket as youth begin to figure out who they are. Having these tools and information is critical to keeping students and parents informed and ultimately, healthy....
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229 Hits
AUG
03
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Summer Day Camp in Perth Amboy

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By: Gina-Marie Miraglia Established in 1993, the Perth Amboy Municipal Alliance Prevention Summer (M.A.P.S) Day Camp provides substance use awareness and education to children about the dangers and effects of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. During the six-week program participants are engaged in fun, recreational and creative activities that help instill decision making skills. Wellspring Preventionists Melisa Damcevska and Gina-Marie Miraglia delivered creative and fun lessons once a week. These lessons focus on instilling important information to help the campers make the best possible choices for their own health. Here were our weekly highlights: During week one we talked about self-image, what it means, and why it is important to see ourselves accurately and positively. We reinforced the lesson by having the students make ‘vision boards’ where they cut out pictures from magazines and create a collage that focuses on what they want to become and their individual goals. Week...
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158 Hits
MAY
14
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Prevention Week at South Brunswick High School

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By Melisa Damcevska. The week of May 14th to May 19th marks SAMHSA’s 6th annual Prevention Week, a week that is solely dedicated to increasing the prevention of substance use and promotion of mental health. This year’s 2018 theme is “Action Today. Healthier Tomorrow” reminding all of us that the choices we make today will have consequences later on in life. Individuals, organizations, coalitions, and communities are encouraged to spread information and raise awareness to the prevention of substance use and the importance of mental health and wellness. Each day of the week focuses on particular topic: promotion of mental health, underage drinking, prescription drug and opioid misuse, youth marijuana and illicit drug use, prevention of suicide and prevention of youth tobacco use. South Brunswick High School is just one of the schools and communities across Middlesex County participating in Prevention Week. Students wrote letters to their future selves titled...
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455 Hits
MAY
01
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The Effectiveness of Art Therapy in Teen Addiction Recovery

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Blog by Sally Perkins. Photo by Victoria Bilsborough on Unsplash Despite New Jersey being one of only two states country-wide to score an undisputed ‘10’ for having the right laws and regulations in place to help combat teen substance abuse, the state also boasts the 6th- highest teen overdose rate. The findings, which were disclosed by the organization known as Trust for America’s Health, highlight the importance of having both preventative and treatment measures in place to care for New Jersey’s most at-risk youth . Approximately 15% of substance treatment programs in the USA offer art therapy with nearly 11% of all teenagers in treatment having access to a program that makes use of art or music therapy. The use of art therapy in treating substance abuse is not new. It actually dates back as far the 1950’s with the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) particularly acknowledging the role art...
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342 Hits
MAR
15
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Hidden in Plain Sight Program Provided In South River

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By Melisa Damcevska, Preventionist I On March 12th, 2018 at 6:30pm, parents gathered in South River High School’s Media Center for a presentation that would forever change how they looked at their children’s bedrooms. Hidden in Plain Sight is a parent program that educates parents on the different methods in which an adolescent experimenting or abusing drugs and alcohol can hide substances, paraphernalia and other items in their own bedrooms, often disguised as something completely innocent. A glass knick-knack on a shelf is really a type of pipe used to smoke, an empty, crushed can of soda can double as a makeshift pipe, and even books can have holes cut into them to act as hiding places. Parents in attendance were shocked at the different, inventive ways youth and companies have found to hide substances and use of them. Many may see the event as a reason to panic and...
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388 Hits
MAR
05
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2018 Young Women’s Conference Recap

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By Karli Rymer, Wellspring Intern On February 28th, 2018, Wellspring Center for Prevention hosted the 14th annual Young Women’s Conference, My Journey, My Voice: Empowering Young Women, in New Brunswick, NJ. It was a day filled with interactive and educational workshops that provided students with an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and emphasized the importance of life and social skills. The goal of the conference is for the attendees to return to their schools and share the information with the rest of the student body through different programs and/or events. The day began with provided breakfast and an amazing production, Lost Angels , performed by the Playground Theatre Project. This outreach program production touches on bullying, violence, racism, sexism, drug/alcohol abuse, depression, and suicide. The piece brings up issues current in today’s society and the struggles that young people face in their everyday lives. The student’s in the play learn...
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673 Hits
FEB
12
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Pathways' PALS Students Volunteer at NJ Ozanum Family Shelter

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by Jelysa Hernandez, MSW Clinician and PALS Advisor On Wednesday, January 25th, 16 CHS Pathways’ PALS community service group students took a trip to volunteer at the NJ Ozanum Family Shelter. Although the students find personal fulfillment through each volunteer event, this process was unique. PALS students prepped months beforehand to raise money for the family shelter through a bake sale, in which all goods were contributed solely by the students. Students then used the money raised to buy enough sandwich materials to make 100 sandwich bags, each included a sandwich, drink, snack, and condiments. Students participated in “Sandwich Night” after school on January 24th, a day prior to the trip to make the sandwiches and organize the bags. Once students arrived to the family shelter on the following day, they engaged with both children and adults alike in a compassionate way. Everyone extended their gratitude to the students and...
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535 Hits
JAN
17
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Wellspring Curriculum Helps in Fight against Substance Use

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Substance-abuse awareness and prevention efforts have been standard in schools for decades, from the anti-drug movies of the 1970s to the familiar DARE officers in the classrooms well into the 2000s. Today, as a result of the opioid epidemic, the State Department of Education has put together a collection of resources available to schools. Titled “Curriculum Resources for Educating Children about the Dangers of Substance Abuse”, the report is available on the NJ Department of Education website. The collection of age-appropriate curriculum and lesson plans includes a curriculum developed by Wellspring Center for Prevention, called Footprints for Life . Footprints for Life helps young children build a strong foundation of life skills rooted in key social competencies. The social competencies that Footprints addresses are planning and decision-making practice, interpersonal skills, cultural competence, peer pressure, and peaceful conflict resolution - assets identified as promoting positive attitudes and behaviors. Footprints is an...
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661 Hits
NOV
28
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PALS Students Volunteer at NJ Veteran’s Memorial Home

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by Christopher Flores, MSW Intern On Friday October 27th, 20 Carteret high school students took a trip to volunteer at the NJ Veteran’s Memorial Home. Although students were going with the intention of serving others, each student stated that they received more than they gave. Each veteran was escorted by a student to the main hall to participate in various activities. Students brought board games, played trivia, “exercised” with the veterans using balloons and paddles, and Pathways intern, Dylan, played his guitar for the crowd. Students were encouraged to have individual conversations with anyone who wanted to talk. The reality is that among the many disorders veterans face such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression, the one unfortunate issue that can be forgotten is loneliness. According to Robert H. Pietrzak, Director at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, loneliness was the most prominent risk...
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  742 Hits
742 Hits
NOV
15
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SADD Promotes Positivity and Urges Students to Stay Drug-Free

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by Jeanne Neuwirth, LSW, Pathways Clinician and SADD Club Advisor

Carteret High School's SADD Club orchestrated several activities in October that helped students start off the school year on an upbeat note.

In honor of Week of Respect, celebrated the first week of October every year in NJ, students worked together to pepper the hallways with hundreds of inspiring messages.

The “Positive Post-it Note Campaign,” initiated last year by SADD Club, has now become one of SADD’s favorite activities at CHS.

A school-wide morning announcement punctuated the event: “In honor of Week of Respect, SADD Club’s Positive Post It Note Campaign has placed 1,000 positive messages all over Carteret High School! Read them, re-share them with friends and family, and keep the positivity going! Remember that every single day you have the opportunity to be a positive force in the world!” Students were later seen reading the notes, wearing them all over their shirts, or sticking them on folders and binders to keep and share. Students shared that seeing positive messages up and down the hallways of the school made them smile.

To raise awareness and educate students and faculty about the dangers of opioid abuse, SADD students placed informative flyers on every door handle in the school in recognition of Knockout Opioid Abuse Day. Did you know that prescriptionKNOCK OUT OPIOID ABUSE 10 6 17 painkillers, typically prescribed for everything from dental surgery to sports injuries, can be highly addictive? According to Drug Free NJ, nearly half of young people who inject heroin reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin.

More recently, SADD Club promoted Red Ribbon Week, an annual nationwide campaign against the destruction caused by drugs.

SADD Red Ribbon Stickers students 10 2017A team of SADD club members stationed at the school entrance in the early morning handed out 1,000 Red Ribbon stickers that read, “Your Future is Key so Stay Drug Free” -- just about every student in the school wore one! Prizes of Red Ribbon merchandise and candy were given out to students who, throughout the day, stopped by Pathways displaying the pledge to stay drug free.

Finally, Pathways joined the CHS World Language Society to bring the #polishedman campaign to CHS. One child dies every 5 minutes as a result of violence. Statistics show the perpetrator is often a man. The Polished Polished man campaign best photoMan campaign is an international movement that challenges men to paint 1 nail (on 1 hand--one out of 5, like the statistic) during October to raise awareness and funds in order to help put an end to violence against children worldwide. Pathways set up a polishing station to paint a nail for anyone who wanted to participate. Several of our students and staff members joined in to raise awareness of the campaign and message.

#SADD #SADDCHS #RedRibbonWeek2017 #POSITIVEPOSTIT #WeekOfRespect #knockoutopioidabuse #drugfreeNJ #ipreferapolishedman #polishedman

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