MORRISTOWN, NJ – Eighteen Morristown High School students from the Senior Class and LUNA placed 500 colorful pinwheels on the front lawn. Each one represented 10 of 5,000 annual deaths among underage youth, attributed to alcohol abuse.
The Pinwheel Prevention Program was sponsored by the Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris. (CCSHM) “I am proud to bring Project Pinwheel back to Morristown High School for a second year” said Mrs. Susan Mele, Student Assistance Counselor and Senior Class Advisor.
The pinwheels serve as a reminder to make healthy decisions during a time when students may be thinking about having a drink, especially during Homecoming season. Principal Mark Manning stated, “I believe that it is extremely important that we help our young people understand the seriousness of underage drinking.” He also stated, “The host of consequences associated with underage drinking will have negative ramifications that can last a lifetime – and the earlier that our students know that, the better off they will be.”
Bringing the Pinwheel Project to Morris was the brainchild of Ms. Barbara Kauffman, Coordinator of CCSHM. She raised the idea locally after reading about a Salem County high school that planted pinwheels on its premises.
Class of 2018 President, Zachary Norton, said “Being able to take part in setting up the pinwheels and knowing that each was representative of a teen death was a very overwhelming experience.” Vice President, Erin Joel, added, “I was proud to support the efforts that help prohibit drunk driving because it affects many lives.”
Mrs. Mele mentioned the importance of being “pro-active vs. reactive.” She said, “It’s definitely a better way to approach problems, eliminating them before they have a chance to appear rather than after they have occurred.” Finally, she stated, “It’s powerful when you think of what the pinwheels represent and I hope that they have a positive impact on our students.”