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Project Graduation 2017

Posted on Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 11:15 am

Project Graduation is a program offered by MCHS and many other high schools throughout the United States. The adult-supervised, alcohol-free activities are offered as part of a post graduation party, as an alternative to student-run events involving alcoholic beverages or other drugs. This year’s MCHS event began immediately following graduation ceremonies last week and lasted through the night in the high school gym. Students were checked for illicit substances before entry and were carefully monitored throughout the night. Moore County seniors were given a breathalyzer test as they entered the event. Food, drinks along with games and other activities provided a fun night for all. Project Graduation emerged in Maine, in 1980, the result of community leaders, parents and school officials determined to offer an alternative to alcohol centered parties. The Maine project continues to be recognized as the prototype for schools across the nation for a way to protect the lives of graduating seniors. The thrust of program is to help schools and communities address local problems associated with alcohol and other drugs. Project Graduation aims to prevent graduation night tragedies that had become prevalent in the 1970’s. Participants are provided information about the risks of drinking, drugging and driving. Project Graduation captured the imagination of the nation in 1983 when the project was selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to be featured at a national forum on alcohol and drug use among high school seniors. As a result of that conference, many states began to explore the possibility of implementing the project. 1984 saw the National Highway Traffic Safety Ad-ministration (NHTSA) begin the preparation of learning materials and a program for a National Project Graduation Conference so that all Project Graduation events had a road map to replicate the program in their own schools. The primary aims of Project Graduation activities are to increase awareness of the dangers of drinking, drugging and driving and to reduce the number of youth involved in alcohol and other drug related highway crashes. Across the country, Project Graduation celebrations are the new tradition for graduating seniors. Project Graduation has become more than an event that occurs on graduation night. It is a community wide planning process that strives to create a caring, supportive environment and more open communication between youths and adults. All school-related functions are supposed to be chemical-free, but what makes Project Graduation different is the attitude of the students. They have made a conscious decision to enjoy their graduation night without alcohol or other drugs. And no other group, including parents and school personnel, can make that decision for students.


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