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Local Schools Awarded Money to Compete in Rogers County Prevention PSA Competition

By: Darlene Passmore-Armstrong | Category: Education | Issue: May 2020

Six of the eleven school systems represented in Rogers County chose to participate in a competition sponsored by the Volunteers for Youth Partnership for Success (VFY-PFS). The competition was designed to promote prevention and/or awareness of dangers associated with the misuse of prescription opioids and/or the dangers/consequences of underage drinking.

Partnership for Success (PFS) is federally funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through the Cherokee Nation. The participating schools were Chelsea High School, Claremore Christian School, Claremore High School, Inola High School, Northeast Technology Center EAST Program, and Rogers State University.

“The focus of the competition was to reflect the goal of our project, which is awareness and prevention of the misuse of opioids in 9-25 year olds, as well as the prevention of underage drinking, through these public service announcements (PSAs). Each school was tasked with writing, recording and editing a PSA, approximately 15 seconds long, with the intention of it being utilized by the ThinkSmartOK program and the possibility of airing on KOTV as a part of the THINK SMART OKLAHOMA campaign,” said VFY Prevention Specialist, Darlene Passmore-Armstrong.

The VFY Partnership for Success was able to provide $500 to each participating school to offset any expenses for supplies and/or equipment incurred in the making of the video(s). Another $500 was awarded for the first-place PSA in each category (opioid misuse and underage drinking), and $250 was awarded for second place in each category.

Judging was a forum set-up with a diverse panel including Evan McCormick, MA, Media Director for CARE Consulting Group; Coleman Cox, CPS, Cherokee Nation Prevention Specialist, SPF Rx Project Coordinator; Raylene Stebbins, MS, LPC, Clinical Director for Rogers County Youth Services; Brian Surber, 1st Assistant DA for Rogers County; George Valliere, Chief Executive Officer for Claremore Indian Hospital; and Ginger Erwin, mother affected by opioid misuse.

Judges’ scores were tallied, and the winners were:

First place in the opioid misuse category: Chelsea High School; Second place: Rogers State University

 First place in the underage drinking category: Chelsea High School; Second place: Inola High School

“I am super impressed,” said Care Consulting’s Evan McCormick. “These are some talented youth who have really bright futures in entertainment/advertising,” he added. That sentiment was echoed by all involved in the project. 

“The students involved really did a great job. They are our future, and our overarching goal is to help them achieve success and be the best they can be,” said Passmore-Armstrong.

“Partnerships are an important aspect of our PFS strategies, and I’d like to thank a few of the partners that participated with us in this venture including Northeast Technology Center who allowed us to utilize their equipment and facility for the judging of the videos, the Print Shop who provided the table tents for the judges and 2 Pops Catering who provided lunch for the judges and our staff,” added Passmore-Armstrong.

To view the videos, follow this link:

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