By JOANNA KASPE
The Golden Key National Honor Society’s Best of America Program, which targets alcohol and drug prevention in the elementary schools, will be Feb. 13 through March 15.
This international program works with the Provo, Alpine and Nebo school districts through the Utah County Bureau of Human Services and Prevention.
“While elementary schools have alcohol and drug prevention programs, they only target the fifth and sixth grades,” said David Woods, one of three vice presidents for the program. “The Best of America Program fills the need to address third- and fourth-grade students.”
“Trained volunteers go into the classroom setting, two students at a time, and give 30- to 40-minute presentations on motivating the students not to do drugs and to set goals,” Woods said.
Tag Barron, president of the BYU chapter of the Golden Key National Honor Society, said last year 3,660 students went to 99 schools in the Utah Valley.
“It gives us the opportunity to reach out and touch a lot of people,” Barron said. “The program is really a cascade of good examples. We hope that they will follow the choices we have made.”
Brad Wilcox, campus advisor for Golden Key, said, “For too many years we’ve taught drug prevention wrong. We invite former drug users to come and tell us about their bad choices. Best of America does it right by bringing outstanding college students to them who have lived exemplary lives.”
Woods offered another reason the program is successful.
“Best of America is something the kids remember,” he said. “I saw one of the kids I had taught at a football game, and he told me he remembered the program.”
“Little kids look at the people who visit their classrooms as role models, as celebrities,” Wilcox said. “Last year the kids kept on asking for the students’ autographs.”
Elizabeth Montague is another of the three vice presidents for Best of America.
“The young people in our schools are the future of our society,” she said. “We, as BYU students, who know the value of Christ-like living, are the best role models we could send into the schools.”
David Peck, the other vice president, said, “It’s a great way to reach a lot of kids.”
Anyone who would like to participate in the Best of America Program should attend a training meeting on either Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in 347 ELWC, or Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. in the Varsity Theater.