BETHWITH, WV (WOAY) – Project Adventure has made a comeback after two years.
In April 2019, nearly 900 4th and 5th-grade students across Fayette County poured into Fayette County Park for the area’s largest youth substance use prevention event. They are now making their return.
It’s two days of the students taking part in over 30 activities ranging from art, music, robotics, and outdoor recreation.
The biggest part, though, is creating healthy avenues of drug use prevention the kids can take.
“There are several of our students who have never tried kayaking, Lego robotics, picked up a ukelele,” says the Drug-Free Communities Program Director with the Fayette County Prevention Coalition, Suzanne Wood. “When we did this in 2019, it was overwhelming the number of students who have never tried these activities before.”
Hosted by Adventure Fayette County, an arm of the Fayette County Prevention Coalition, Project Adventure is an area-wide program.
According to the organization, students who take part in after-school activities are three times less likely to turn to drugs. This program introduces the students to all of those after-school alternatives. The event is also a way for the committee to gather data on the barriers that often prevent kids from participating in such activities.
They believe that by showing the students what healthy alternatives are available to them, they are taking one major barrier out of the equation– the excuse that there’s nothing to do here.
“We want to alleviate the boredom. We want to let them know that there are things to do in this county, that there’s an answer to “there’s nothing to do here.” There are things that are available to them and we want them to take advantage of that,” Wood says.
The coalition was joined by many other organizations helping to put on the event, including Active Southern WV, Camp Royal, the health department, and New River Health.
Along with the different organizations around the community, Fayette County Schools was a major partner in the program.
While they had to postpone the event for two years during Covid, they still got to hold a smaller program called Adventure Days for the students during the summer.