The Orange County Friday Night Live Partnership (OCFNLP) recognized a community group, two schools and a pair of school advisors for their efforts to engage young people in alcohol and drug prevention activities in campuses and community centers.
Bolsa Grande Friday Night Live, Panorama Elementary School Friday Night Live Kids, Casa Youth Shelter Friday Night Live and Brookhurst Junior High advisors Erika Gangnath and Sandra Loth were honored May 12 at the annual OCFNLP Chapter Recognition Event at Chapman University.
The Orange County Friday Night Live Partnership program encourages young people to take the lead on alcohol and drug prevention activities at school and in their communities.
Funded by the County of Orange Health Care Agency’s Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Team, the partnership provides support and opportunities to develop skills in the areas of leadership, communication, team building and problem solving. Its programs include Friday Night Live (high schools), Club Live (middle schools) and Friday Night Live Kids (upper elementary).
Here’s more on each of the honorees:
Bolsa Grande High School Friday Night Live (FNL): When Bolsa Grande High School in the Garden Grove Unified School District plans an event, they go all out. That was clear during Red Ribbon Week when they plastered their campus with 300 posters. FNL members are trained in media literacy and have provided the training to all health classes on campus. This FNL chapter partners regularly with the California Highway Patrol and Community Service Programs to provide effective alcohol and drug prevention activities in their school and community. If you visit the school’s webpage you will find a monthly FNL column that highlights a different prevention topic each month. This year, they are participating in the Office of Traffic Safety grant provided by the California Friday Night Live and using the funds to reach out to feeder schools, local alcohol retailers and parents to reduce underage drinking in the community.
Casa Youth Shelter Friday Night Live: The Casa Youth Shelter’s Youth Leadership Team took on FNL five years ago to increase alcohol and drug prevention efforts in the community of Los Alamitos. This group of students from local area high schools meets on Monday nights all year long. They have 12 members on the leadership team, and over 60 general members. They use parliamentary procedures at their meetings to stay on track to meet their ambitious goals. With each year, the impact on their community grows. Just this past year, they have outreached to local alcohol retailers to engage merchants in prevention, and facilitated a Reality Party to demonstrate to parents the dangers of underage drinking parties and to provide strategies to help keep youth alcohol- and drug-free. Casa’s Youth Leadership Team initiates other activities throughout the year, starting with an annual youth leadership conference for more than 450 youth. They also support Orange County’s homeless student population with monthly outreach activities and conduct numerous other service projects throughout the year.
Panorama Elementary School Friday Night Live Kids (FNL Kids): The FNL Kids program at Panorama Elementary School in the Orange Unified School District serves as the campus’ student leadership team. This enthusiastic and dedicated group of FNL Kids leaders meets weekly to plan and implement school-wide activities that promote smart health choices and positive school climate. They also conduct service projects that benefit their school and community. Examples from this year include Red Ribbon Week, Random Acts of Kindness, School Supplies Drive, CHIPS for Kids and Skate Night. At the beginning of the school year, the students made a presentation at a staff meeting to promote who they are and what they have planned for the year. Each FNL Kids member serves as a classroom representative, so all the activities are promoted regularly to the entire student body.
Erika Gangnath and Sandra Loth: Erika Gangnath and Sandy Loth are co-advisors at Brookhurst Junior High School in the Anaheim Union High School District. This dynamic duo took on Club Live 10 years ago when the previous advisor stepped down. They were concerned there wouldn’t be any clubs for kids to go to and get involved in something positive on campus, so they volunteered to take it on. Today Brookhurst has the largest Club Live program in the county with more than 50 members. It is clear that Mrs. Gangnath and Mrs. Loth are passionate about Club Live, and they see the difference it makes in their student’s lives.