Name of school and town/school district: Pathways SBYSP, Carteret High School; Carteret, NJ
Name and credentials of contact person:
Youth Development Specialist Pathways SBYSP – Carteret High School
199 Washington Ave
Carteret, NJ 07008
School website: instagram.com/pathwayssbys, instagram.com/incorruptible.middlesex
Pathways SBYSP – Carteret High School: Success Story
Last school year, students at Carteret High School (CHS) attended classes in a hybrid-learning environment. Most classes were held virtually, but a small fraction of students came to the school building to learn. This greatly impacted student engagement with the clubs that Pathways School Based Youth Services Program has to offer, since students were so used to interacting with us in person, especially those that do not typically seek our services. This meant that participation in health and wellness activities was certainly low. Dedicated members of our clubs happily participated in our virtual activities, but Pathways missed out on a lot of interaction with students that casually participated in club activities during their lunch periods. For several virtual activities last school year, the attendance capped at 20 students. Typically, participation would range from 100 to 200 students per activity. This school year, we aimed to bring back a familiar level of interaction with the general student population of CHS.
In November, CHS’s chapters of Incorruptible.US and SADD combined their efforts to host a cafeteria activity for The Great American Smokeout, an annual event hosted by The American Cancer Society. With the help of Pathways and their agency staff, volunteers from both clubs helped raise awareness about the dangers of smoking by handing out Great American Smokeout-themed stickers, facilitating a trivia game involving smoking facts and statistics, and asking students to pledge to not smoke. To incentivize participation, students spun a prize wheel for answering a trivia question correctly. For the activity, the clubs were able to give away candy, reusable water bottles, “Drug Free Looks Like Me” pop sockets, Incorruptible.US carabiners, and Incorruptible.US hand sanitizer keychains as prizes. Students who also signed the no smoking pledge were entered into a raffle for an Incorruptible.US blanket. At the conclusion of this event, there were over 220 students that participated in the trivia and signed the no smoking pledge. The highlights of this event were also featured on the Middlesex County Incorruptible.US instagram page.
With the increase in visibility for our programming due to being in person, we were able to expose students, especially freshmen and sophomores who originally had no idea of our existence due to virtual learning, to one of the several services Pathways provides as a SBYSP. This typically acts as a gateway for students to use Pathways’ other services. We were also able to spread awareness of the dangers of smoking to a large number of students and share resources for those who want to quit smoking. The stickers that the students wore also helped us gain visibility for the cause. With the turnout from this event, we have no doubt that subsequent events will produce similar results.