Every April, The American Public Health Association brings together communities across the U.S. to observe National Public Health Week as a time to address issues impacting the nation’s health. This year’s theme is the effects of injury and violence prevention on health and Abington School District gets involved.
In Montgomery County community the opioid overdose epidemic is one of our biggest public health issues. The Montgomery County Office of Drug and Alcohol has been targeting ways to delay or prevent the initiation of the the substance abuse. They developed a more comprehensive drug and alcohol prevention plan and began to leverage additional resources to address the epidemic.
Therefore, in support of the National Public Health Week, Montgomery County’s Office of Drug and Alcohol decided to team up with the Abington School District and the Aldersgate Youth Service Bureau. Together they showcased a program called Second Step. Second Step is a social emotional learning program designed to assist kids in reaching their full potential by teaching them skills like self-regulation. These self-regulation skills help students concentrate better on their lessons, participate more in classroom activities, get along with their peers and make good choices. Students employing self-regulation techniques are able to comprehend the consequences of their actions leading to better decision making when faced with challenges such as peer pressure to try substances. These techniques will also help prevent future injury to themselves or others, as well as the possibility of decreasing future involvement in unhealthy behaviors.
Currently in the 7 elementary schools of Abington School District, the first grade students are being taught the Second Step skills by Aldersgate Youth Service Bureau. On Thursday, Laura Spalding from Aldersgate worked with the first graders at Overbrook Elementary on their listening skills, taught them strategies to calm down and discussed the feeling of being worried. Spalding did so through the use of videos, puppets, music and stories.