Healthy Peabody Collaborative (HPC) – Peabody, MA
Sandi Drover, outreach coordinator at the Healthy Peabody Collaborative (HPC), executed ATI’s “Tag It” activity with a large group of her organization’s youth.
Afterward, she created a video slideshow of her students’ “tags” – packaged in a CD sleeve, featuring the ATI brand. She presented the slideshow at a coalition board meeting, where it received enthusiastic support from all of her board members. Since that meeting, Sandi has recruited other youth-serving organizations to participate in ATI activities, furthering the anti-drug message in the Boston community. The first of many partnerships includes a local Boys and Girls Club. Students participating in the activity said, “Tag It” made me more aware of the influences around me.” When asked about how they plan to stay above the influence, students said they plan to “stay above it by doing many extra-curricular activities,” “staying involved in school,” and “participating in sports and clubs.”
The HPC also leveraged ATI in its community by working with parents and stakeholders, such as local schools, the Peabody Mayor’s Office, and the transportation and health departments, to implement “Tag It” with youth at three different community events to date.
The first “Tag It” session was held at a local high school assembly with more than 1,800 students during Red Ribbon Week in October 2010. HPC worked with the high school faculty to facilitate the “Tag It” activity at the assembly and created giveaways for the assembly such as T-shirts, water bottles, and hand sanitizer co-branded with the HPC and ATI logos.
During the second “Tag It” session, 50 students and adult chaperones broke up into smaller groups to execute “Tag It” around the community. In addition to tagging influence, students met with the Mayor of Peabody, Michael Bonfanti, to create awareness of the positive and negative influences in downtown Peabody. Students also engaged with Peabody shopkeepers, firemen and policemen, and their local congressman, Representative John Tierney, to discuss the importance of recognizing influence in the community.
The final “Tag It” session culminated with youth presenting a video to community stakeholders with all of the tags from previous sessions. HPC’s collaborative approach to engaging youth and community stakeholders helped generate support for ATI in the Peabody community.
To build on HPC’s work with implementing ATI in their community, the Northeast Arc’s ArcWorks Community Art Gallery is hosting a special art exhibit by Peabody, MA teens who participated in “Tag It.” The exhibit was unveiled on September 21, 2011 and is titled “Building Influence Literacy Through Youth Art.” The exhibits features the teens “tags” and focuses on local youth identifying influence in their lives and their community. The exhibit will be on display until October 12, 2011.