Founded by a team of Cincinnati firefighters in 2005 as a response to the preventable, drug-related tragedies they saw as part of their jobs every day, Drug Free Clubs of America is now a part of McClain High School.
McClain previously offered a drug-testing opt-in option to all students. If a student participated in that program every year, they received a cord for graduation, said program coordinator Lori Tuttle. The Drug Free Clubs of America (DFCA) will replace that opt-in option and will offer numerous additional rewards and benefits.
All DFCA members will participate in an initial testing day and will receive a reward following the testing. Members will also receive a temporary membership card. The remainder of the testing dates throughout the school year will be random tests with only a percentage of the membership being tested.
According to the organization’s website, a student’s results are confidential and are not shared with the school, but are shared with the student’s family.
“Besides additional incentives at school that student officers will organize,” Tuttle said, “members can use their membership cards to receive a variety of discounts and rewards at participating businesses. For instance, Buffalo Wild Wings offers 15-percent off food and beverages, Tim Hortons offers 10-percent off a purchase, Shawnee Lanes provides a buy one bowl, get one free, and Valero offers a free 20-ounce soft drink with any purchase. These are just a few of many, many discounts offered around our area.”
The rewards received for program members are seen as a tool that reinforces positive behavior and “have an instant motivating impact,” according to the organization’s website.
“We are extremely excited to offer Drug Free Clubs of America membership to our students at McClain. Not only will they receive great incentives and rewards, but they also pledge to be drug free,” Tuttle said.
According to the organization’s website, making the choice to join DFCS increases a student’s chances of saying, “I can’t, I might get tested,” instead of giving in to a peer-pressure situation. DFCA envisions “a promising generation of healthy, safe teens, who are confident that they can depend on (DFCA) strategies to defend and encourage their drug-free lives.”
For all the information on the program, go to drugfreeclubs.com.
There, you can learn about how the program works and about different aspects of the program like “Take 5,” a symbol representing opportunities and tips for parents about how to talk about drug use with their teens; and “In the No,’” an educational component of the organization.
“Thanks to generous donations, the cost is only $25 for the whole year,” Tuttle said.
Students who are interested can join the program anytime by filling out a membership form. More information about joining can be found on McClain’s Facebook page.
“It is so exciting that McClain High School is the first school in Highland County enrolled in the Drug Free Clubs of America program,” Greenfield Superintendent Quincey Gray said. “Not only does the program offer support, strategies, and opportunities for students, but it can also offer support for parents.”
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Greenfield Exempted Village School District.