Say Yes To Using Creativity And No To Using Drugs!

Interviewing Diego Gomes winner from season 3 of YTV's 'The Next Star'
Diego performed his hit single 'My Best Friend's Girl'. The audience and students absolutely loved him! Diego even brought along his dad who was their to support him. Thank you Diego for teaching the student the importance of using your talents and to stay away from drugs. Diego also helped out by being one of the guest judges! He thought everyone was equally talented.

Students above present their poster on the drug, CAFFEINE

Student above presents his banner to 'Say No To ALCOHOL!'
Students brainstorming ideas and researching on drugs

Students recording their Public Service Announcements

Student sends a message through his Drug Awareness poster that 'There Are Always Good Solutions. Drugs Aren't One of them!'

Above: MPP Kevin Flynn, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education came to support the Drug Awareness Program and the importance of youth to stay healthy and actively involved in their community.

Below: Michele and Adonis Huggins introduce Rainbow Bear from donation support, 'Rainbow Cinemas'.
Below: Interviewing student for Regent Park TV as he works on his project.
Below: Students working hard together in groups on their posters.

Below:Students practice really hard for their performance on Drug Awareness.

Above: Interviewing students for RPTV on how important it is to use their passion for dance instead of using drugs.
Above: Students are finished practicing from their scripts and ready to perform a skit on the drug LSD.
Below: Judges judge the posters and banners that promote Healthy Living and Awareness about Drugs
Below: Classroom door decorated to inform everyone not to use drugs.
Below: Bulletin boards decorated by students to promote healthy living and drug awareness.

Below: Teacher greeting parents who came to support their children on their creative messages and performance about drugs and healthy living.
Judges watch the students performances and interact with the students. Judges agreed that all of them were winners.

Below: Student M.C's are presenting performances.
Below: Students present and perform promoting healthy living and awareness about different drugs. Some of the unique performances included a interactive game show, educational skits, distinctive dances, powerful songs, tableau and more!

Below: With the help of Regent Park Focus video expert Emmanuel, students put together a music video where they rap about how they feel about drugs.

The Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre 2011 Drug Awareness Program was a huge success! On behalf of Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre and Sprucecourt Junior Public school we would like to thank everyone who participated in the 2011 Drug Awareness Program Celebration. The students who participated from Ms. Bristoll’s, Ms. Ball’s, Ms. Fung’s and Mr. Bristow’s class did an excellent job with their performances and art projects promoting drug awareness and healthy living at the Drug Awareness Community Celebration assembly on February 15th, 2011.
The aim of the Drug Awareness program was to create a safe community and to better educate students about the harms of drug use. This year, the month long Drug Awareness program held at Sprucecourt school featured many wonderful activities including a wide array of student led projects involving: skit making; poster making; dance; raps; song writing; poetry; creative writing; radio public service announcements; and video production. Before the assembly started, judges chose the best decorated bulletin board which included; slogans and posters about drugs and healthy living. Students were provided with an opportunity to perform and display their projects at a Drug Awareness Community Celebration assembly event where family members, dignitaries and members of the community came out to support the students work and hear what they have to say about drugs. Upon arrival, parents and guests were greeted and given information about the program and resourceful material on how to talk to their children about drugs.
Thanks to the judges and speakers who came out including; MPP and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education, Toronto City Councillor Pam McConnell, Cpl. Heather Dickonson who is from the RCMP Toronto West and is the Detachment Drugs and Organized Crime Awareness Coordinator, Esther Linare from Youth Link, Caroline Swinson from MAAD, (Mothers Against Drunk Driving),  Allen Smith manager of Rainbow Cinemas alongside Rainbow Bear, Barb Macpherson from Toronto Public Health and officers from 51 division who cam to support the event. A much appreciated thanks goes out to all the companies and organizations who supported The Drug Awareness Program by donating prizes; Tim Hortens, TVO Kids, Indigo Chapters, Cineplex Odeon , Cumberland Cinemas, Epitome Pictures, Degrassi, Tricon Films &Television, Pizza Pizza, Dominos Pizza, Pizza Hut and of course Rainbow Cinemas. A special thanks goes out to Diego Gomes who is the winner of YTV’s The Next Star. Diego beat out thousands of Canadian youth who auditioned in a nationwide search for Canada’s best teen singing star sensation. Diego not only performed his hit single ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’, he encouraged students to not use drugs and use their talents to showcase their artistic abilities. Diego stands an exceptional role model as he uses his musical gifts to send positive messages and encourages youth to do the same. I also interviewed Diego for RPTV, so look out for that soon. Regent Park TV also filmed the process of the students work including research, practices, rehearsal and the assemblies. The video will be available on our website Students will now complete evaluations of what they thought of the program and how we can improve next year.
Everyone got a chance to also hear all the final resourceful radio public service announcements created by some students about drugs and drug awareness. The highlights of the assembly included seeing performances from students which included an informational game show version of jeopardy on cocaine and healthy living which allowed the audience to participate. One of the great presentations was a class performance of the song ‘Lean on Me’ which included drumming by students and tableau portraying student’s experiences with drugs. Another important performance was a skit performed by a group of students expressing how it felt to be a youth with parents who refuse to have a discussion about drugs. The skit was of great impact to the audience as many ethnic parents could relate to the fear of talking about drugs because of the misunderstandings. The moral of the skit was that it is important for all youth and parents to have a deep dialogue about their feelings, understanding and questions about drugs. Other highlights included great dance performances, story telling, skits about drug influence in schools, a class version of the song ‘Give Peace a Chance’, and inspiring poetry and raps. The message of the celebration was ‘Say Yes to creativity and no to using drugs’. Without a doubt the program accomplished its’ aim to educate and promote awareness of the negative harms associated with drug use to students living and attending school in the Regent Park community. I am really glad I got to be part of the 2011 Drug Awareness Program and collaborating with the students at Sprucecourt Public School. Congratulations to all of the students who created and performed outstanding works of art in promoting drug awareness and healthy living. 
The winning class received a pizza party!
Thanks again for everyone including teachers, staff, parents and students who supported this very successful and fun program again this year!

~*Michele Peter*~

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