Real Life SADD: Tree of Life
The Regional Bilingual School Ramirez-Hostes SADD chapter in Añasco, Puerto Rico, developed and participated in the Tree of Life activity during the holiday season. Puerto Rico celebrates an exceptionally long “holiday period” starting the week of Thanksgiving and continuing through January 6th, Three Kings Day. Because there is a high level of drinking and driving during this time, the SADD students wanted to reach the public with the message not to drink and drive during the holidays. Each town has a tree-lighting ceremony that starts off the holiday season, so the SADD chapter wrote a letter to the mayor requesting permission for the chapter to present this message during the ceremony. The mayor gladly gave them permission, and the SADD chapter involved the city manager and SADD students in the ceremony. Students lit candles using the ceremony from the “Light the Way Celebration” from SADD’s 25th anniversary. The students read through the ceremony and lit the nine candles. Then they explained the Tree of Life and lit the tree. After the ceremony, students handed out to attendees gift boxes with the message “If you catch a buzz – catch a ride.” Approximately 500 boxes were given out during the activity. The December tree-lighting ceremony reached approximately 4,000 people, and the tree remained in the town during the entire holiday season.