In partnership with the Raymond Middle and High Schools, the Raymond Coalition for Youth brought the Improbable Players to their 835 middle and high school students to address the issue of substance abuse during graduation and prom season. The project grew from one day to one week and included a performance at both schools, each preceded and followed by an educational discussion.
Since 2002, the Raymond Coalition for Youth has worked to promote safe behavioral habits for the children of Raymond, NH (population 10,825). The purpose of the presentation was to highlight the reality that substance misuse does not simply affect the individual, but also family, friends and community members.
Organizers hoped that sharing the story might teach struggling youth that they are not alone, and encourage those students to ask for help. By breaking the silence, the project encouraged an open discourse surrounding the tragedy of substance misuse.
Middle school students who were surveyed post-performance indicated that 44% of them knew someone with substance misuse issues.
Celeste Clark, Executive Director for the Raymond Coalition for Youth said that she was very optimistic about the success of the program, and that she received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the High School's principal. Speaking about his response, she said, " He got a good number of calls from parents whose students came home and discussed it with them... This is such a huge step to breaking down the walls of silence so people can access help."