iDecide is a drug and alcohol prevention program, developed by WHS students, Mr. Washburn; Student Assistance Counselor and Ms. Cooney; Guidance Counselor. The original purpose of the program was to provide some prevention programming to Little Britain elementary school, in the absence of DARE. The high school students that participated in the development of this 4 lesson program were students who could be great role models/mentors and were committed to a life without the use of chemicals. They wanted to give this message to the elementary students. They also wanted to create fun activities that would engage the 5th graders and foster learning. iDecide is currently a program sponsored by the Safe and Drug Free Schools & Community funds of the district. There are 2 advisors who coordinate the program. This year students also developed a program to promote iDecide for HS parents who attended back t o school night. This is a great prevention program that is unique to this district and may be the pilot for duplicating this program in other school districts.
The iDecide title is the corner stone of the basic message; I (each student) decide what my behavior is going to be and I decide to be drug free. The 4 lessons are then organized around this main message with an activity that emphasizes this concept. Every 5th grade student participates in every lesson and has an opportunity to share their commitment to a drug free life. They end the 4 sessions with a "graduation" ceremony that parents and school officials attend to congratulate the 5th graders on making a good decision about the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
It has grown from the 5 sessions at Little Britain to include hours at both Taft and Round Hill, a Red Ribbon activity called Udecide for Little Britain and multiple sessions at all 7th grade health classes. The seventh grade presentations include the additional topics of Internet safety and family issues of addiction.
In order to present these prevention programs, students participate in training and afterschool meetings to learn the lessons and presentation skills. Students first attend an informational meeting, and then submit an application demonstrating interest in the program. Prior to the 2 ½ hour training, students must sign a contract agreeing to commit to the afterschool meetings, conducting themselves in a manner appropriate to mentors of younger children and living a chemical free life. Students that are then accepted into the program, meet 2x a month to continue developing classroom management and presentation skills. They also review the sessions that they have participated in and suggest improvements to the program.