Frederick County Students Have a Chance to Win Huge Prizes By Creating a Drug Abuse Danger Video
by Eikaiva Boyer
“Classmates4Life” is a relatively new program for the FCPS system. Classmates4Life is essentially a drug awareness video contest that elementary, middle, and high school students across the county can participate in. The program has students create a video that is about a minute long to highlight drug abuse danger and how to motivate your peers for a better life without these drugs. It kicked off for a second time on December 19th at 10am, and the contest goes to March 1st, 2018.
The goal per the FCPS website is to “Educate the students and public about why drug abuse is bad. Use social media to encourage distribution and viewing of the student videos.” It was originally affiliated last year by Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford’s Heroin and Opioid Statewide Education Initiative to prevent drug abuse. “This format and contest are proposed to become statewide eventually. The proposed statewide format will be modeled after a Statewide Sports Championship Title. With the help of the Southern Frederick Rotary Club, we hope to grow this event across the country.” 
Here is what required for each entry:
If you are an elementary school student than your video should answer the prompt “How Are Drugs Bad?”
If you are a middle or high school student than your video should answer the prompt, “How Can Drugs Wreck Your World?”
- Must be an FCPS student
- 30-60 second video
- Must highlight drug abuse danger
- Must motivate your peers to choose a better life than drugs
- Must be turned in here- https://filmfreeway.com/Classmates4Life?utm_campaign=Submission+Button&utm_medium=External&utm_source=Submission+Button
Not only are you educating yourself and your peers on the dangers of drugs, but you also have a chance to win some really cool awards! Awards such as: 
- The winning films will be shown as public service announcements on local media.
- The winning films will also be entered free of charge into the Maryland International Film Fest.
- iPad Mini
- Baltimore Orioles Tickets and Film Studio Tours
- NBC TV Studio Tour
- Bar-T Ranch Camp Tickets
- Movie Tickets
- Pizza Party
There will also be a red carpet celebration for all winners.
If this interests you, the timeline for Classmates4Life is below: 
- Contest kick-off: December 19, 2017, 10 AM at CTC Spires Cafe
- Create videos: December 19 2017 – March 1, 2018
- Videos released to the public: March 12, 2018
- Judge videos: March 5-14, 2018
- Awards Ceremony and Resource Fair: March 21, 2018 at Frederick High School
Principal Tracey Kibler believes this is an outstanding opportunity for students to outreach on the negatives of drugs. “Anytime students speak out about drugs is a positive thing! We need more students speaking out and standing strong against recreational drug use and self-medicating”.
Kibler continued, “The misconception among many adolescents is the phrase ‘Everyone does it’ when in fact that is not the case. Many kids do not do drugs and have no value in it. Many recognize the negative impact and effect of drugs. Some have witnessed drug use and violence in their homes, and have lost loved ones to addiction. I think participating in this contest would be a good thing for our students and directly supports are Continuous School Improvement Plan for action taking to address mental health and awareness.. I say go for it!”
Health teacher Jennifer Kendro commented, “I am not familiar with this program, but I would hope that in the very least it would promote awareness about the dangers of drugs. I have been told recently that empowering students with effective refusal skills is more impactful than the scare tactic that is most commonly used, so personally I have been focusing more on that with my teaching.”
Student Member of the Board of Education senior Will Anderson commented on the program as well, “I think engaging the student body in combating drug use is essential, and this contest is a smart way of getting students to think about these issues. I’d like to see the videos be used in schools to get the student perspective on how to fight drug use.”
Read the formal press release here: http://www.fcps.org/about/news/1623948/classmates4life-drugawareness-contest
And the video here: