By Addie George and Haley Earl
Students who are a part of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) are always working to raise awareness for different causes. Their most recent project was “Wipe Out Smoking.” The SADD organization has a different theme to raise awareness for each month, and recently the members took pictures of students of all ages in the high school holding up a sign that read “Wipe Out Smoking”.
The advisor of the club, Ms. Shields, planned the activity and explains why it is important to bring notice to destructive decisions. “In the teenage years, it’s a good message to get across, especially if it’s something they come across in their life. Today it’s often a social norm to smoke, but it’s not a good thing to do. So we start sending the message young.”
Shields plans on working on other projects in the future. She would like to have an activity for the members and other students at least once a month, some of them bigger than others. “We might do little activities,” Shields says, “like we did for Wipe Out Smoking month or something like an all-school assembly.” She is very determined to get messages across to students and members of all ages.
Not only does SADD’s work reach the student body of Shenango, but the students who are a part of SADD are positively affected as well. “I think for them,” said Shields, “they are advocates themselves, but I think them actually going out there and physically taking part in the activity and seeing how many people were willing to take pictures with the frame that spoke to them shows them that SADD is an organization worth being a part of.”
What is even better is that Wipe Out Smoking was such a success. A big question that could be asked is, “Do students receive the message when their peers deliver it as opposed to when teachers or parents deliver it?” The students of SADD believe that their ability to relate to their peers is a critical component to the success of their message. “It seems like from the pictures I got, there were some 7th graders that did it and 8th graders, but there were a lot of high school students as well,”Shields said, which is evidence of the power of positivity spreading school-wide.