October is Substance Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. To increase awareness of substance abuse in the CNMI, Project Brabu—the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Community Guidance Center’s Substance Abuse Prevention Program—welcomed all 4th, 5th, and 6th graders to participate in their “Be Drug-Free! Be Brabu!” Calendar Art Contest. Students drew, painted, and colored beautiful art pieces exemplifying or encompassing being drug-free and saying no to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Twelve winners were chosen to be featured in a 2014 calendar.
Participating schools included Dandan Elementary School, Garapan Elementary School, Grace Christian Academy- Rota, Saipan International School, San Antonio School, Sinapalo Elementary School- Rota, Tanapag Elementary School, and Tinian Elementary School.
“It’s important to talk to kids about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco at the elementary school level,” said Rica Dela Cruz, Project Brabu’s social marketing officer. “We strongly encourage parents to start talking to their kids early about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, before youth begin experimenting with these substances. Research has shown this highly influences a youth’s decision to use substances.”
Tiara Evangelista, Project Brabu manager, added, “Our brains are still developing up until the ages of 20 – 25 years old. Using substances before this age can cause changes in brain development and actually increase one’s chances of becoming a substance abuser later in life.”
The calendar contest winners are:
- Adbiel Carandang, San Antonio Elementary School, 4th grade
- Angela Giuang, Rota Grace Christian Academy, 4th grade
- Clarence Rodriguez, Tinian Elementary School, 5th grade
- Hannah Chan, Saipan International School, 6th grade
- Immaculate Maratita, Sinapalo Elementary School, 4th grade
- Jerishina Deleon Guerrero, Dandan Elementary Schoo, 4th grade
- Joemarie Taitano Muna, Dandan Elementary School, 4th grade
- Kristina Cassandra Lomibao Achas, Garapan Elementary School, 4th grade
- Mark Norita, Tanapag Elementary School, 6th grade
- Miah Castro, San Antonio Elementary School, 4th grade
- Nick Iguel, Tanapag Elementary School, 6th grade
- Patricia Nicole P. Surima, Garapan Elementary School, 6th grade
Project Brabu congratulates all the winners and thanks all the schools and students who participated.
Project Brabu hopes students continue to promote for a safe, healthy, and drug-free CNMI!
For more information about Substance Abuse Prevention in the CNMI, call (670) 323-6590. (CHCC/CGC)