Students and staff from Cayman Academy were out on the streets of George Town on Feb. 3, doing their part for the community.

During the school’s annual health week, students and staff marched to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society to deliver a donation and then made their way through George Town to the Annex playing field for a session on drug-abuse prevention.

According to a press release, the two events were the culmination of this year’s health week theme, focused on reinforcing anti-drug and anti–alcohol use and abuse messages, the same week the National Drug Council rolled out its new healthy lifestyle, healthy choices curriculum aimed at students at the primary level.

“The National Drug Council was delighted to partner with Cayman Academy during its health week that coincided with the NDC’s national drugs and alcohol facts week,” said the council’s prevention and education officer, Dr. Susan Young.

“We commend Cayman Academy for taking such a proactive role in promoting a drug-free lifestyle among its students and for organizing this drug-free march through George Town.”

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Decked in “I Want to Live Heathy” T-shirts, the marchers, including Savannah’s Gideon Marching Band, made their way from the school on Walkers Road to the Cancer Society’s headquarters, where the school’s charities coordinator Sophia Hamilton presented a donation of $3,148 to the Cancer Society’s Victoria Gray, the press release states. Ms. Hamilton said the donation represented the school’s effort to carry out its mandate of caring for its neighbors, acknowledging top student fundraisers Roxzandy Giscombe, James Munroe Jr. and Roger Alex Johnson, Jr.

The students then marched through the School Road, Mary Street, Shedden Road and Eastern Avenue communities, distributing drug education pamphlets to homes and passing vehicles, chanting slogans like “Think before you drink,” and “Say no to drugs/yes to hugs,” and distributing bottles of water.

According to the release, the students assembled at the Annex playing field next, where they heard talks on drug-abuse prevention by the high school’s principal, Dr. O’Neil Duncan, and school director Alicia Castillo-Timothy, along with George Town Primary School Principal Marie Martin.

“The feedback was very positive and the eagerness of the students at such a young age to learn all they can about making wise choices was very encouraging,” said Dr. Young.

Among National Drug Council-initiated activities during the week were poster, photo and video competitions, and an exhibition on the dangers of drug use.

“The goal of the NDC is to have a population free from drugs, alcohol and substance abuse within the Cayman Islands,” said Dr. Young.

“Partnerships with schools such as Cayman Academy is vital to the NDC achieving this goal. It is not enough to just tell students to say no to drugs, a continuing programme of dialogue and strategies need to be put in place for students to make smart choices.”

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