Dear Editor,

Ridge Against Alcohol and Drugs (R.A.A.D) is a Bernards Township organization made up of high school students who work to provide information and prevent substance use among our peers. We are actively participating in our community by going to public events and spreading awareness about underage drug and alcohol abuse.

For example, our most recent event was at the Teen Volunteer Fair at the Bernard Township Library. We explained to other high school students the main purpose of R.A.A.D and what we do to help prevent drug and alcohol abuse. We have also volunteered at events like “Cycle of Pills to Heroin: Drug Trends in Our Community,” the Twilight Challenge 5K, Party in the Park (with Bernards Township Parks and Recreation), and have had informational booths at events such as Charter Day.

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We pride ourselves on being excellent role models and a very welcoming group of young students. We work closely with the Bernards Township Municipal Alliance [Against Substance Abuse] and fully support the "It's 21 For a Reason" campaign.You can find us at a booth at the high school football games or sometimes in the high school during the day!

We give out information and provide alternatives to drinking and drug use. "Natural Highs" are anything you do that you enjoy that releases the same chemicals in your brain that drugs do, but do not have to negative consequences! Some examples could be singing, hiking, hanging out with friends, or even laughing!

We not only work around the community and high school, but at the middle school as well. Every year, a group of R.A.A.D students go to the William Annin Middle School to perform the “UBU Skit” at Youth Summit Day, which is when the R.A.A.D members dress up as different stereotypes to try and create a judgment free atmosphere in the middle school. Additionally, we also provide influential statistics from surveys that were taken by the local high school students like the American Drug and Alcohol Survey and the Student Stressors Survey.

We would love for the community to get to know us and attend our programs! Our members put a lot of time and effort into these events and would love the opportunity to show this community what we know and believe in. We are always open to any questions, ideas, and/or concerns!

R.A.A.D is welcoming any high school students in Bernards Township from Grades 9 to 12. Even if you don’t attend Ridge High School, you live in the area we are serving! All in all, R.A.A.D is a group of inspirational students who truly believe in living a drug and alcohol free life, and who are devoted to spreading awareness about this issue. Through public events and programs within the school systems, we try to promote a positive and healthy lifestyle in our community.

If you would like more information, you can email our group advisor, Kaitlin Kordusky at KKordusky@bernards.org or call her at 908-204-2523, or visit www.bernardsalliance.org. We are R.A.A.D!

Sincerely,
The Members of Ridge Against Alcohol & Drugs

Kaitlin V. Kordusky, CHES

Community Program Coordinator - Health Educator
Municipal Alliance Grant Coordinator
Bernards Township Health Department
262 S. Finley Ave.,
Basking Ridge, NJ

908-204-2523