GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts teachers met in Greenfield Friday to help reduce teen drug use.
Twenty-five teachers from around the region took part in training for a LifeSkills program at the John W. Olver Transit Center. The program is designed to help students stay healthy, improve their social skills, and keep them safe.
Studies show that students who go through this program are much less likely to engage in drugs and other forms of dangerous behaviors later in life. Tobacco use was also shown to be reduced by 87% and alcohol use by 60%.
The program involves a set curriculum with interactions and role-plays between teachers and students. The teachers have been using the curriculum for more than a year now, and are seeing the results.
“You can really see the kids getting engaged in the lessons, participating. You can see their attitudes beginning to change. They are able to adapt skills by the end of the curriculum that they can use in any part of their lives,” said Kate Blair, a teacher at the Frontier Regional School in Deerfield.
Friday’s training cost $5,000 and was funded by the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Abuse Services.
The teachers took a professional development day to participate in the training.