The Orange County Friday Night Live Partnership has honored a pair of community agencies and a school advisor for their efforts to promote youth development and implement alcohol and drug prevention projects in their schools and communities.
On May 13, OCFNLP held its annual Chapter Recognition Event at Chapman University in Orange. Santiago de Compostela Youth Ministry’s Friday Night Live chapter and Camp Fire Club Live were each named recipients of the Chapter Excellence Award, and advisor Loryn Lawson of Laguna Road Elementary School in the Fullerton School District was presented with the Advisor Excellence Award.
If you’re a regular reader of the OCDE Newsroom, you know 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).
And now a little more about this year’s honorees.
The FNL chapter associated with the Santiago de Compostela Youth Ministry in Lake Forest is on a mission to reduce underage drinking in that city. This past year, the group secured funding from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the state Office of Traffic Safety and Santa Ana-based Community Service Programs to support their education and community outreach efforts.
Averaging 15 high school members, the chapter has hosted community events including a Town Hall Meeting and a Reality Party to educate community members about the dangers of underage drinking and to devise strategies to help young people steer clear of alcohol and drugs. They have also reached out to local alcohol merchants to reduce youth access. In addition, Santiago de Compostela FNL met with younger members of their congregation to provide lessons on decision-making and refusal skills.
Camp Fire Club Live is part of the after-school program at Yorba Middle School in the Orange Unified School District. The group meets weekly to plan and implement service projects that benefit their school and community. Many of their projects are ongoing, including food collection drives supporting a local homeless shelter, weekly campus clean-ups and work on the campus garden.
Chapter members also focus on the health and well-being of students by supporting their school’s Red Ribbon Week and hosting bullying prevention activities during the school day. In addition, for the past two years, Camp Fire Club Live has partnered with Community Service Programs on a prescription drug abuse prevention campaign that educates youth and their parents on the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
Finally, Loryn Lawson has been the FNL Kids advisor at Laguna Road Elementary School in the Fullerton School District for more than 10 years. She was recognized for helping students in grades four, five and six make a positive impact on others while developing important skills in the areas of leadership, project planning and decision-making.
Students in her FNL Kids program have gone on to serve as Friday Night Live officers at the high school level, and one served on the California FNL Youth Council. Lawson, who has spent 32 years in the classroom, currently teaches second grade. “I like doing fun activities that help the school and community — and staying connected with the upper-grade student body,” she says. “I love teaching second-graders, but the upper-graders get my jokes.”
For more information on the Orange County Friday Night Live Partnership, contact OCDE Program Specialist Elke Petras at 714-966-4458 or firstname.lastname@example.org.