Prevention coalition discusses county SADD chapters

By Erin (Perkins) Johnson -

POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Prevention Coalition recently met discussing the county’s SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) chapters.

Coalition Member and Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School (PPJ/SHS) Teacher Richard Sargent has been in charge of the PPJ/SHS SADD chapter this year and has been reporting back to the fellow members of the coalition about the organization. For graduation, the senior SADD students of the PPJ/SHS chapter were given special honor cords for being involved in the organization. Sargent said next year he would like to hand out the cords to the students during the senior awards ceremony, so the students can get more recognition. He will be working on recruiting more students to the organization this coming school year as many of his members were graduating seniors.

As for the SADD chapters at Wahama Junior/Senior High School and Hannan Junior/Senior School, the coalition members have not heard updates on these organizations for some time. When school starts again, Prevention Coordinator Ronie Wheeler will be visiting these schools to reinforce the SADD organizations and set up a way to bring updates back to the coalition.

Greg Fowler, executive director of the Mason County Family Resource Network (FRN), suggested putting extra funds into the SADD chapters from the remaining funds in the coalition’s account for future SADD activities for the students and maybe to even buy the SADD student members t-shirts.

Vanessa Davis, Region 5 prevention coordinator, suggested the coalition members invite SADD student members to the coalition meetings, so the coalition members can get a youth’s opinion on certain matters.

Davis and Wheeler discussed the recently held regional prevention coalition meeting. At the meeting, it was discussed that a youth retreat will be held in Parchment Valley in Ripley from Aug. 2-4. Seven youth from each county are invited to attend to learn techniques and better their leadership skills. Davis suggested the coalition members invite SADD students, so then they can take the information they acquire and share it at their schools. The youth who are invited need to be natural leaders and be interested in bettering these skills.

In other business, the coalition members discussed the recent synar visits to local businesses and the Fishing Rodeo event.

The members also discussed different trainings they could do with the community such as a training on how to administer Narcan or a Hidden in Plain Sight event for parents in the county suggested Davis.

Fowler shared for the upcoming school year he would like to do a juuling/vaping training at PPJ/SHS and Hannan as he did at Wahama before the end of the school year this year. He will be switching up the presentation and may even go back to Wahama as well as ask the county’s elementary schools if they would like a juuling/vaping training.

Sargent suggested holding more family friendly/family oriented activities like the Fishing Rodeo. He also suggested holding an event and involving the local senior centers for more senior citizen involvement with the coalition.

Davis commented on how the Mason County Prevention Coalition is a self-sustained organization and how much good they are doing for their county and making a difference. She did suggest having more representation from different entities around the county as well as more representation from the lower end and upper end of Mason County as the primary representation is from the Point Pleasant area.

By Erin (Perkins) Johnson

Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.

Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.