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Discovery SADD boosts campus attitude, atmosphere

SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) planted a cherry tree for Arbor Day at Discovery Middle School. These SADD members are Dayle Rumley, from left, Taylor Lewis, Faith Osborn, Christina Bolton, Lindsay Diggs, Francisco Miranda, Nathan Siwko and Luke Cheatham. (CONTRIBUTED)
SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) planted a cherry tree for Arbor Day at Discovery Middle School. These SADD members are Dayle Rumley, from left, Taylor Lewis, Faith Osborn, Christina Bolton, Lindsay Diggs, Francisco Miranda, Nathan Siwko and Luke Cheatham. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) at Discovery Middle School recently put their energy to good work with a campus improvement.

SADD observed Arbor Day on April 25 by planting a Japanese Yoshino flowering cherry tree. Student Faith Osborn contacted Reseda Nursery for the donation.

“Faith, thinking about our environment, wanted to plant a tree to enhance Discovery’s landscaping and leave a lasting memory of the 2014 eighth-grade class,” drama teacher and SADD sponsor Emma Wilbanks said.

SADD is a “peer-to-peer education and activism organization” that advocates for students to avoid underage drinking and drug use, risky and impaired driving, violence, suicide and unwise decisions, Wilbanks said. They want students to have “the best prevention tools possible to deal with the issues they face.”

SADD’s leadership board includes Caroline White, Jordan Lehman, Annie Sieja, Becca Fraley, Zach Wood, Aija Abele, Anna Hershman, Savannah Brown, Michaela Philip, Allie Dutton, Katie Clark and Diamond Smith.

The Discovery SADD chapter sponsors social activities to encourage students “to make constructive choices. They have to be able to live with consequences of their choices,” she said. Any student can join.

Throughout the year, SADD pursues service projects. For Red Ribbon Week, members informed their classmates that “a young person dies every 33 minutes due to a destructive decision,” Wilbanks said. At Christmas, the club donated gifts for a child, a senior citizen and two other recipients with The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.

SADD organized a flash mob dance for the Veterans Day assembly. “We created cards with positive statements and passed them out randomly to promote saying positive things to others who might not otherwise hear something positive that particular day,” Wilbanks said.

At a typical SADD meeting, members discuss old/new business, brainstorm for awareness activities on campus and “talk about any topics of interest or concern to our members,” Wilbanks said. Meetings end with a fun activity “that gets every one mingling and interacting.”

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