DEXTER - On May 20-21, the Dexter Key Club partnering with the SAD46 Wellness Committee, will be sponsoring the Every 15 Minute program a national program that simulates a drunk driving accident and the effect that has on the community. The program has been conducted thousands of times across the country and last year Penquis High School participated in the program. Last spring the Piscataquis Community Health Council at Mayo Hospital came to the Key Club asking if we would be willing to sponsor the Every 15 Minute program. The club expressed its willingness and we asked the Wellness Committee to partner with us.
The program has been done in several area schools. Last year Penquis, two years ago at Foxcroft Academy, three years ago at Greenville and Old Town was the first school in our area to sponsor the program.
The program involves a simulated drunk driving accident near the school on the first day, May 20, with "injured" and "deceased" students involved in the accident. The Dexter Police Department, Dexter Fire Department and Mayo EMT Service are also teaming with the Key Club and the Wellness Committee to carry out this event successfully.
During the morning leading up to the simulation a student will be removed from class every fifteen minutes. This represents the fact that every fifteen minutes a person dies in this country to a drunk driving accident. The students pulled from class are referred to as the "living dead" and are made up as living dead and return to class, where they cannot interact with students or staff for the rest of the day. At the end of the first day, the accident participants and the living dead are sent to a retreat where they write letters to their parents. Each student makes a memorial board about them and the parents write obituaries for their children.
On the second day, May 21st, a mock funeral is held at the school, which is followed by workshops about substance abuse and other related topics. The whole program winds down by mid-day with closure for students and staff.
The Every 15 Minute program is billed as a very powerful program that helps to make the dangers of drunk driving very real to all those in the school community. The Key Club and the Wellness Committee are very busy planning the event and we meet every Monday night at 6:00 PM at the Dexter High School library. Anyone interested in participating can take part. This coming Monday, Jan. 26, we will be setting up committees. If you are interested in helping with the program please contact Rick Whitney at the high school, 924-5536, or show up for one of the Monday meetings."This content originally appeared as a copyrighted article in the SVWeekly.com and is used here with permission."
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