National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week
There is nothing like hitting the ground running and this is going to happen, so-to-speak, when we return from spring break. This upcoming week marks National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW). NDAFW is an annual, week-long, health observance that inspires dialogue about the science of drug use and addiction among youth. It provides an opportunity to bring together scientists, students, educators, healthcare providers, and community partners—to help advance the science, so that we can improve the prevention and awareness of substance misuse in our own communities and nationwide. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities, so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism became a partner in 2016, and alcohol has been added as a topic area for the week. NIDA and NIAAA are part of the National Institutes of Health. MCLA students have a week's worth of activities planned in order to increase awareness regarding this. It is our collective hope that students bring this dialogue home and for parents/guardians to connect further with youth in this important area.
There is an incredible event that the LEO Program has coming up in April. The LEO Program is a state-approved interactive resilience-building program for youth ages 14-20 in Wood County, WI. LEO stands for Learn & Empower Oneself. The mission of The LEO Program is to empower youth to understand their unique brains and quickly improve resilience, adaptability, and fearlessness in a rapidly changing world. One of our students from Columbus Catholic High School, who is also a part of MCLA, is going to be putting on a De-Stress Event. It is virtual, and people can register ahead of time via Zoom. All are welcome, youth, parents, families, community members! She will be talking about what stress is, how LEO has helped her better manage her stress, and strategies to de-stress. Please share with anyone that you think may be interested and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. See the flyer HERE for more information.
You have heard it said that the life of a teacher and parent parallel one another. Have you thought, however, teachers don't assume that students know material and that is why we have pupils in our desks engaged in content every day during the school year? We need to fully recognize the same is true for parenting. With this in mind, parents should stay current with trends that potentially affect their students. Much like a teacher seeks professional development to acquire skills pertaining to advancement or best practices in their field, the same opportunities are there for parents. Relating to substance abuse, if we don't take the time to discuss necessary resiliency and decision-making skills to make good choices; students are getting that elsewhere, and sometimes it is from their peers. Is that the best source of information? Hopefully, you answered "no." It is understandable to feel intimidated by having these very important conversations at home but take a look at the resources available. To continue the theme of awareness, consider looking HERE for some great videos on how you can bring up these topics at home and reduce any potential uncomfortableness. Please also take note of the personal story as to why this resource was made available.
From the teachers and staff at the high school and middle school, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable spring break!
As always, thank you for choosing Columbus Catholic Schools.