Hundreds of students and their families attended the first-ever joint observance of Kick Butts Day and Week of the Young Child at the Garapan Central Park last Saturday.
The event kicked off at 7:30am for registration followed by the Kick Butts march and parade from the site to the Kristo Rai Church and back.
Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Laura Ogumoro was happy with how the event turned out.
“The education, outreach, and preventative efforts achieved at this event were incredibly successful with the participation of schools, childcare providers, teachers, students, and parents,” she said.
Ogumoro attributed the success of the event to the collaboration of many agencies and organizations.
“This was the first year that we’d merged Kick Butts and Week of the Young Child and the turnout was a testament to the fact that sharing and pooling our resources is cost-effective and creates better work relations and understanding amongst ourselves and our community,” she said.
Healthy food and drinks as well as health services were all provided to the students and families at the event.
Different agencies had concession stands and also provided activities and services. They included the DCCA, Division of Public Health, Community Guidance Center, CNMI Head Start Program, Joeten Kiyu Public Library, CNMI Council for Humanities Mother Read program, Youth Affairs Office, Substance Abuse Prevention and Recovery Coalition, Ayuda Network, Northern Marianas College-CREES, NMC-Area Health Education Center, Commonwealth Cancer Association, and Northern Marianas Islands Volleyball Association.
To ensure that students get to visit all the booths, they were given passports to collect 12 stamps by participating in activities set by the different agencies.
Ricky Itibus, substance abuse prevention technician and 2014 Kick Butts coordinator, said that Kick Butts Day is a national day that empowers youth to stand against tobacco. “We do this event to let kids know of healthy alternatives,” he added.
“The event is very successful. We had many kids from all the public schools and some from private schools and also some daycare centers joining in. This is also our first time to collaborate with DCCA-DYS and it’s a great partnership,” Itibus said.