There are multiple ways to build an awareness campaign at your local school. The first step is to assess what information is currently being shared with students, and to determine whether or not what is already being done is adequate. If a new program needs to be developed or an existing one enhanced, 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:
- 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.
- Request a meeting between your coalition (or just yourself if you’re acting alone) and lead administrators at your school. This will normally be the Principal in grades K-12 and the Dean of Students, President, etc. at colleges and universities.
- 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’s program could consist of classroom education, rallies, assemblies, parent and student education events, etc.
- Volunteer to participate as a parent or student advisor if a committee needs to be formed to manage new or enhanced program development. This will give you the opportunity to also keep track of progress being made and to help pull in additional resources that are needed.
- If additional administrative support is needed, consider meeting with the school board to enlist their support and explore what programs could potentially be implemented throughout the school district.
- Engage Parent/Teacher organizations in providing parent and student educational events. Contact NCAPDA if you would like to request that a member of our Speaker’s Bureau support your event.
- 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. Different activities can be planned by those groups to heighten awareness.
- Red Ribbon week activities can be planned that include education about prescription drug abuse. Special campus activities such as video, poster and T-shirt contests can be conducted that highlight this subject.