Project Safeguard is an offsite conference designed for 7th graders addressing current issues impacting teenagers today focusing on substance abuse prevention. Class sessions offered address peer pressure, self-esteem, alcohol, tobacco and drug education, media messages, Internet safety, and communication between parents and students. Students and adult participants will have the opportunity to attend three class sessions, offered in four categories: adult and students, boys only, girls only and parent/adult only.

Project Safeguard began over 20 years ago in Merrimack, New Hampshire, when a middle school teacher recognized that middle school was a transition time for young people and that their exposure to risky behaviors increased significantly as they entered the preteen years. At the same time, there were not a lot of opportunities for parents to learn about these risks either. Project Safeguard has the effect of opening avenues of communication to allow for a greater mutual understanding on the part of parent and child.

Our 13th Annual conference was a great success! Take a look at our photo album online.

The Raymond Coalition For Youth (RCFY) hosted a day of prevention, awareness and goal setting for over one hundred students and their parents. One of RCFYs longstanding, successful programs that provides seventh graders, parents and teachers with updated information that is relevant to the world they live in. The youth-focused conference took place this year at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth. This is an opportunity for students to be exposed to a higher learning institute. A variety of classes provided information on topics that are a concern or they are interested in. 

Detective Rick Labell of Labell Presentations was the Keynote Speaker, and talked about the power of being positive, having healthy habits and learning from your mistakes.

Several breakout sessions included information on healthy body image, goal setting to reach your dreams, drug and alcohol awareness, how to not be a victim on the internet and personal stories from individuals in recovery. 

In addition there were parenting resource classes to raise awareness to substance misuse rates of use, perception of risk and wrongness, and connect them to resources at our RCFY website.

Classes taught by our RCFY RHS Youth Action students were also provided. These classes are especially popular as research tells us that young people like to learn from their peers, people close to their own age. 

At the close of the conference, our RHS members talked about Youth Action - and we got it on video. We are so proud of our students!

In addition, we know that scare tactics are not effective ways to prevent drug and alcohol use and experimentation. Rather, sharing stories from those whose lives have been impacted by this are more likely to have an impact. 

The event is made possible through the partnerships formed by RCFY working collaboratively in the community to support young people having a bright future. A special thank you to Walmart and Hannaford for financially supporting the costs associated with this event. 

Click on the images below to see the parent letter and class descriptions that were provided to parents and students:

Highlights from our 2016 Project Safeguard event: