May 2019:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OhbzC6ghqpyLBKQ6oUZFHwcOJZhy6dfp


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact - Celeste Clark, Executive Director, Raymond Coalition For Youth

cclark@rcfy.org   603-895-7061



Taking Pride in Raymond Sweeps through the Town


"People were thanking us, and that made me feel really good." A strong comment from a Raymond High school student on Wednesday.  Self-pride, community pride, involvement, appreciation, and connections are all some of the reasons why the Raymond Coalition For Youths Operation Raymond Clean Up event, in its fifteenth year, is so important.  In one day, twelve hundred pounds of trash was collected and properly disposed of.


Over the past two weeks, hundreds of people have taken to the streets, parks, and trails of Raymond NH to clean up trash, recyclables, bulk waste items, and cigarette butts. "It's unbelievable what some people throw away, and where they throw it," said one student.  One of the oddest items found was a loveseat; one of the oldest was a submerged shopping cart from the old Prescott Farms grocery store submerged in the river. Participants collected bikes, tires, liquor bottles, beer cans and filled four gallon-sized plastic bags full of cigarette butts as part of Breathe NH's annual Bag-The-Butts campaign.


A big bonus to this day is exposing people, especially our high school students, to some of the fun undiscovered locations we have in this great little town.  Riverside Park, located at the end of Sundeen Parkway, is a park that has a playground, dog park, walking trails, and a beautiful field. This park is an excellent location for enjoying nature and taking some time to unwind and relax. "I am so excited; I have lived here my whole life and didn't even know this place existed." said a chaperone who had a group of high school student participating in the clean-up community service day.


There are the rails to trails that go through Raymond from Prescott Rd. in Epping to Candia.  These trails are unpaved but wide enough for walking, running, bike riding and even has a secret spot on the Lamprey River for those who might like to go fishing, or sit and relax, taking in nature.   


This year the new town manager, Joe Ilsley, wanted the town to be more a part of this event and offered for town employees to participate.  With the town involved, RCFY was able to get the school involved, and it transformed into a high school community service day with conversations of making this a graduation requirement moving forward.


"Anytime we can get adults and kids positively interacting with each other, it increases a young person's protective factors.  In the world of prevention, these are the good things in a person's life that help them to succeed," commented Celeste Clark, Executive Director of RCFY. "Today was full of protective factors: connecting kids to the community, giving them an opportunity to take pride in the place they call home, positive adult role models and interactions, businesses stepping up to support them, adults taking an interest in them, all super amazing things."


"This was the beginning of a great relationship between the school and the town of Raymond, and we are looking forward to great things," said Mr. Ilsley.   A special thank you to Raymond Police Department, Recreation Department, and Public Works for setting up and cooking lunch for everyone who was a part of this day.  A special shout out to high school teacher Mr. Hayes who got the grill up and going. "He's the best," said a student waiting to eat - a comment that was repeated by more than a few students who know him as a teacher they can go to as a trusted adult.  In the prevention world, an adult like him is priceless.


One of the goals of RCFY is to increase community collaboration, and this event hit a home run.  T-shirts specially designed for the day said: "I AM THE COALITION" because everyone who makes an event like this a success is what the Raymond Coalition For Youth is all about – a community working together.  RCFY is so much bigger than one person, one department or one group – it takes all of us, and that is why RCFY is a success - because so many people pitch in. A special thank you to Hannaford, who provided healthy morning snacks for all of our high school students.  A special thank you to Tuckaway Tavern who provided the hamburgers, hot dogs, and water for over four hundred volunteers. This event was made possible through the RCFY Drug-Free Community grant funds and SAMHSA Partnership for Success Grant in the Raymond School District.  For more information, please visit www.rcfy.org. Check out pictures of this great community event on Raymond Coalition For Youth social media channels. Working together, we do make a difference!




March 2019:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1AiAOoepnsHz6RAVXEjoNQ4ic58V8ZsM5


January 2019:  


https://drive.google.com/open?id=1VzLrqSPH5cpzPuOynerdbzLS6vto4FQo


Read the latest issue of Raymond Recreation Department's "On The Common".  Here is the RCFY section:


https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/e2e37e_88fad03a39da4905a9e5b5d8eaf6eb4e.pdf




https://sites.google.com/a/rcfy.org/rcfy/home/news/in-the-news/nhmagjan19.png

Interstate Peer Pressure

As a teenager, I am constantly surrounded by my peers and their opinions on different topics. One of the topics that they are the most vocal on is marijuana — specifically the state of legalization of the drug. Although some of my peers are quite passionate about marijuana legalization, they cannot see the big picture of what would happen to New Hampshire if it is legalized. Furthermore, the decriminalization of the drug has already diminished the perception of risk, which has made people more comfortable experimenting with it.

Despite the popularity of the substance, there is still a lot of confusion about the short-term and long-term effects of the drug on both a person’s health as well as society as a whole. A lot of trouble with this topic comes from the mixed messaging that people of all ages hear about marijuana. Many pro-pot people like to bring up the healing and medicinal properties of a component found in the plant, which is called CBD. I agree that there are benefits of using CBD for specific conditions; however, this argument is irrelevant within the context of marijuana legalization. People who need therapeutic cannabis can already obtain it legally in the state of New Hampshire, but medicinal marijuana is often used as an argument to confuse voters so that they can get the law passed. Additionally, anyone who says that it won’t affect kids/teens because it will be age-restricted doesn’t realize that if over 35 percent of teenagers admit to using marijuana while it is illegal, more teens will use the substance once it is more accessible. With marijuana becoming more popular, I have begun to hear young people say that they “drive better while high” or that they do not see a problem with driving a car while high. This is probably the scariest aspect of marijuana for me because I drive on the same roads as people who drive while impaired.

I fear that the only things that will come from the legalization of marijuana would be that the perception of risk of this substance would drop to virtually none, increased marijuana use in adolescents (despite age restrictions), and increased car accidents related to driving while impaired. Marijuana legalization does not have to be inevitable, and I hope that those who are against it will use their voice and express their concerns to those in power. New Hampshire has done something unusual thus far by refusing to be “peer-pressured” by the states around us, and by staying true to the values of the community.

                                                                              — by Savanna Cooney, Youth Intern for the Raymond Coalition for Youth