The Center for Prevention has brought the Footprints for Life program back to Charles Olbon School this year. The Woodland Park Municipal Alliance Against Alcoholism and Drug Abuse has funded the program for all second grade classes.
The six-week early prevention program teaches important life skills to the students through the use of puppets and stories that feature real life situations.
The program offers a chance for students to practice the skills they have learned in a fun and non-threatening way. The lessons address decision-making practice, inter-personal skills, peer pressure, and peaceful conflict resolution.
At a recent session, students went over past messages such as using their "solutions stoplight." Red means stop and take a breath; yellow is share feelings and "I" messages; and green means come up with a resolution.
In this session, the facilitator, Catherine Apostol, covered smoking and vaping. Students learned about why people start, what is bad about it and what is in a cigarette and vape. "When we put nicotine in our bodies, our brains think we need it to survive," Apostol said. They also did an exercise using straws that demonstrated the difficulties a smoker can have breathing.
Parents can visit www.footprintsforlife.org/kids to learn more about the curriculum and program.