Never before has it been so important for SADD chapters to reach out to elementary school students to help them from making dangerous decisions that could disastrously affect their lives. Elementary students look up to high school students. They want to be like them. They see them at the mall, at the pizza place and at other locations around town. What better way to capitalize on this hero worship than by having SADD chapter members mentor them! Because many elementary students are home alone with older siblings after school until parents arrive, situations may arise that could put younger children at risk. Good information and skills to help say no will be very important for these youngsters.
As mentors, SADD members can provide information, skills, encouragement and support to help them to make good decisions about tobacco, alcohol and other drugs and to follow good safety practices.
Visit the elementary schools and discuss with students the facts about tobacco, alcohol and other drugs and the harm they can cause. Also discuss with them being safe in other ways, such as wearing their helmets when bike riding, roller blading or riding a scooter.
When going to elementary schools to speak to students, mix your presentation with a play, skit, roleplaying or rap to get your message across. Make it a fun time with a message. Also remember to adjust your message and material to the grade you are visiting.
The following are some specific ideas and activities for your SADD chapter when visiting elementary schools.
The Union City Community High School in Indiana uses the BABES Story Book program to get their message to the elementary students. The BABES Story Book is a complete system designed to help young children of all ages have happy, healthy lives free of substance abuse. The program covers self image and feelings, peer pressure, coping skills, alcohol and other drug information.
If you have a really creative chapter, write little rhymes for the younger grades to help them remember things like always wearing their seat belts, saying no to alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, and other issues that affect them. Create little rhymes such as this one below:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
I'll always wear my seat belt
Because I love you.
Sing it with them in class so that they will remember it.
Younger students look up to older teens in their community. Use this admiration to build a bond of friendship and trust. Through this bond you may influence them to make good choices and grow up to be strong, healthy young adults living a healthy lifestyle. Explain to them that you can be popular and successful without drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or using drugs. Don't underestimate the power of your influence!