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Choices for Life branches out

Anti-drugs show boosts message by going online and into secondaries. Elizabeth Buie reports

Anti-drugs show boosts message by going online and into secondaries. Elizabeth Buie reports

Choices for Life, the anti-drugs stage show, targeted for the past six years at P7 pupils across Scotland, will go online later this year on the schools intranet Glow and extend its range into secondary.

Run by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) as part of its drug education work, Choices for Life sought to hammer home key healthy lifestyle messages to primary pupils before they made the transition to secondary.

But the all-singing, all-dancing stage show, which featured some of the latest bands and themed dramas and was presented by DJs in some of Scotland's biggest venues, is now changing its method of delivery, its audience and even some of its messages.

"The flagship part this year will be an online conference on Glow. It will be reinforcing learning in the classroom environment that goes on throughout the year," said Detective Superintendent Alan Cunningham of the SCDEA.

With the target audience now extending from P6-S6, programme content will have to be differentiated according to age and stage. This will require the programme to be more creative, modular and flexible to reflect the more learning-based approach that is now being adopted.

The two-day online conference in November is likely to include social media messages via Facebook and Twitter to engage young people in online debates; Glow will carry learning materials for teachers to use as follow- up material. The campaign's messages will also be designed to reach youth organisations and groups to ensure they extend beyond the school environment.

Detective Superintendent Cunningham does not rule out using reformed addicts to convey anti-drugs messages to some young people, but says he is conscious that this can be a sensitive area for schools.

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