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Students draw a future without drugs or alcohol

Lake Placid Central School students draw chalk portraits on the Lake Placid Olympic Center speedskating oval June 1, part of  to rally community support for a drug and alcohol awareness program. About 130 students from grades 6 through 12 participated in the temporary art project, drawing self portraits and other drawings to raise awareness for an upcoming poster campaign.

Lake Placid Central School students draw chalk portraits on the Lake Placid Olympic Center speedskating oval June 1, part of to rally community support for a drug and alcohol awareness program. About 130 students from grades 6 through 12 participated in the temporary art project, drawing self portraits and other drawings to raise awareness for an upcoming poster campaign. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— Wikoff has been working with the Coalition for three years. He said art helped him get through difficult times as a teenager in Lake Placid.

“When I was a student here, bullying was a real problem, and I used my art to cope with that,” Wikoff said.

Another resource Wikoff had that helped him as when he was a student was the continued support of both teachers and adults in the community. He said he hopes this project can allow the students express how they feel and invite adults to address these problems with their kids.

“Kids want to be heard, and they want to hear what their parents think about alcohol and other substances, and the choices they made, good and bad, growing up,” said Mary Dietrich, president of Lake Placid/Wilmington Connecting Youth & Communities Coalition.

Dietrich said the program is based on studies that have show a parent’s opinion really matter to their kids.

“The more quality time that parents spend with kids, the better their children will do in school and the more likely they will be to make good choices as they go through life,” Dietrich said.

By noon on Friday, the white portion of the oval was covered in multi-colored works of chalk art. Wikoff said he plans on doing more art projects with the coalition including a mural to be put up in the Wilmington Tunnel this summer with help from members of the Wilmington Youth Center.

For more information about the Connecting Youth & Communities Coalition go to their website at www.connectingyouth.com.

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