In partnership with the Raymond Middle and High Schools, the Raymond Coalition for Youth brought the Improbable Players to their 835 middle and high schoolers to address substance abuse during graduation and prom season. The project grew from one day to one week and included the performance at both schools as well as a pre and post educational discussions.
Since 2002 the Raymond Coalition for Youth has promoted safe behaviors for children in Raymond, NH. (population 10,500) The purpose of the presentation was to highlight that substance misuse is not something that effects just one person, but many families, friends and others.
They hoped that by sharing the story students who might need to ask for help or might feel isolated will know that they are not alone. They will feel more comfortable talking with others and asking for help if it is needed.
Middle school students surveyed post performance indicated that 44% of them knew someone with substance misuse issues. Students were given resource information on a wearable lanyard to take home.
Executive Director for Raymond Coalition for Youth, Celeste Clark said, "I was talking with our high school principal about the impact and reaction of the program. He thinks it was one of the most successful ones he has seen to help generate conversation and connecting the students with services. He got a good number of calls from parents whose students came home and discussed it with them as well. This is such a huge step to breaking down the walls of silence so people can access help."
Funding was provided in part by a General Project Grant for Community Engagement from the NH State Council on the Arts.