Cassville Rotary presents 'Don't Meth With Us' program

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Fifth-graders at Southwest Middle School react to pictures of meth users during the Cassville Rotary Club's Don't Meth Us Program on Feb. 6. The program informed 71 Southwest fifth-graders about the dangers of meth. Contributed Photo

204 area 5th-graders learn about dangers of meth

The Cassville Rotary Club informed area fifth-graders about the dangers of methamphetamine through its second annual Don't Meth With Us program.

The club recently presented the program to 71 fifth-graders at the Southwest Middle School and 133 fifth-graders at Cassville Intermediate School.

"Don't Meth With Us is a powerful message that shows the dangers of meth in an interactive and straight forward way," said Caleb Buntin, a Rotary member who coordinates the program. "The presentation is informative, and most important, it is a shock and awe type of presentation.

"The program demonstrates how choices affect our lives and affects their ability to be leaders. One bad choice in particular is meth. The program shows pictures of how meth affects the body, mouth and skin. The program also tells the students what to do when they are offered meth, plus what to do when they encounter meth trash such as shake-and-bake bottles."

This year, the Don't Meth With Us program really seemed to stir up lots of great discussion about decision making and the choices you make, said Tonya Varner, a fifth-grade teacher at Cassville.

"The students passionately talked about how meth and doing drugs can definitely hurt you and your family," Varner said.

Wendy Miekley, a fifth-grade teacher at Cassville, said her students were taken aback by the presentation.

"They even wrote letters home to their parents telling them about what they learned," Miekley said.

The before-and-after pictures the Rotary Club presented about meth really seemed to hit home with the Cassville students, said Tammy Wilson, also a fifth-grade teacher at Cassville.

"They could not stop talking about the appearance of the meth users," Wilson said.

Since the club started the program last year, the Cassville students each came up with T-shirt ideas, and the Rotary picks out the best design, Buntin said. Each participating student receives a T-shirt, along with a wristband that says "Don't Meth with Us" with the Rotary wheel emblem.

"This year, there were two winners for the T-shirt design," he said. "Dayton Thomas came up with the slogan 'Don't Meth With Us So We Can Be The Best of Us,' While Landry Mills came up with the artwork of a fighter jet."

Each student received a $25 Walmart gift card. The T-shirts mentioned local businesses that sponsored them, and they featured the Rotary wheel emblem.

At the Southwest Middle School, the program was very informative, and the students seemed to enjoy it, said Angela Long, Southwest Middle School counselor.

"I hope that, by informing them, they will become more aware of the dangers," Long said.

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