There are multiple ways to build an awareness campaign at your local school. The first step is to identify what information the school is currently sharing with students and determine whether or not it is adequate.
If a school needs to develop a new program or enhance an existing one, you can take the lead to ensure that it happens. Following are suggested steps to take for the development of campus programs and other awareness campaign ideas:
1.Ideally, form an informal coalition of support by recruiting friends, family, students, agencies, community leaders, etc., who share your concerns and interests about establishing awareness programs on campus.
2. Request a meeting between your coalition (or just yourself if you’re acting alone) and lead administrators at your school. These will typically be the Principal in grades K-12 and the Dean of Students, President, etc., at colleges and universities.
3. At the meeting with the school administration, discuss existing educational programs and explore opportunities for improvement. If no programs exist, request that they be planned and implemented as soon as possible, ideally in the same school year. A school program could consist of classroom education, rallies, assemblies, parent and student education events, etc.
4. Volunteer to participate as a parent or student advisor if a committee needs to be formed by a school. This participation will allow you to manage and enhance program development, track progress, and help pull in additional resources.
5. If additional administrative support is needed, consider meeting with the school board to enlist their support and explore whether the school district can implement programs.
6. Engage Parent/Teacher organizations in parent-student educational events. Contact NCAPDA if you would like to request that a member of our Speaker’s Bureau participate in your event.
7. Students can engage their student leadership teams or community service-oriented clubs such as Key Club and Interact to start an on-campus awareness campaign as one of their service projects. Those groups can plan different activities to heighten awareness.
8. Red Ribbon week activities can include education about prescription drug abuse. School administrators can also organize special campus activities that highlight this subject. These activities may take many forms, including video and art contests and trivia.