PRC students learn the importance of being drug free

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 9, 2015

DRUG-FREE: Second graders at Pearl River Central’s Upper Elementary sang and danced during the Captain Shield and Buckey drug-free program.  Photos by Cassandra Favre

DRUG-FREE: Second graders at Pearl River Central’s Upper Elementary sang and danced during the Captain Shield and Buckey drug-free program.
Photos by Cassandra Favre

Second-graders at Pearl River Central Upper Elementary danced and cheered during Wednesday’s Captain Shield and Buckey’s drug-free presentation.
The program is a collaboration between Pearl River County United and Picayune’s Resurrection Life, pastor and PRC United member Dawn Bechtel said.
Pearl River County United is a coalition of citizens in the community who are focused on making a difference in the lives of young children, Bechtel said. About five years ago, Bechtel said Resurrection Life pastor Alan Hickman talked about accomplishing the task of making Pearl River County a drug-free county.
“The Lord told me he wanted me to develop a superhero and a sidekick in order to teach the children about being drug-free,” Bechtel said. “Our municipal and county law enforcement officials are doing a great job, but there’s more to be done and that is why we began hosting assemblies at the Pearl River Central elementary schools.”
PRC United and Resurrection Life also host October’s annual March Against Drugs in Picayune, Bechtel said. She has plans to develop a coloring book depicting Captain Shield and Buckey.
Danny Jones, youth pastor at Resurrection Life, emceed the morning’s program. The Pearl River Central High School Drama I class and the Blue Angels dance team also performed.
Alyssa Hill, a senior at Pearl River Central High School, spoke to the elementary students about the importance of being drug free.
“If you take drugs, you won’t get to do all the fun things that you like to do anymore,” Hill said to the crowd. “They mess with your thinking and change who you are. Stay focused and surround yourself with friends who love you and do good things.”
Pearl River Central drama teacher Ginger Schmidt said this was the second year her drama class performed the Captain Shield and Buckey skit.
Last year, Captain Shield saved Buckey from trouble but this year, the pair teamed up to travel around Pearl River County and save students, Schmidt said.
“It’s extremely important to share this message with children this age and it’s a great way for my drama students to give back to their community,” Schmidt said.
Senior Alyssa Fuller narrated the skit and said she remembered the drug-free programs of her youth inspired her to be a better student and not take drugs.
Senior Ralph Powers, who played the part of Captain Shield, said it was awesome to show the children that a normal guy can fight off evildoers.
During the program, the students danced and cheered for their favorite on-stage dancers and learned what happens to a person who takes drugs.
“I learned not to do drugs because it won’t give you good grades and they will give you bad luck,” second grader Zoey Rojas said.
Second grader Wyatt Waltman said he learned that substance abuse will change you and that’s a bad thing.
Second grader Lanie Theady said she is going to have fun instead of doing drugs.
“Oftentimes, the focus of being drug-free is placed when it’s too late in someone’s life,” Jones said. “We want to keep them making good decisions now before it’s too late.”

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