Polk Against Drugs bus donation

Officials from Polk Against Drugs and the Polk School District gather at the central office in Cedartown to make a bus donation official. It is slated to be converted as a mobile classroom teaching youth about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Polk School District fulfilled their pledge to help out Polk Against Drugs in an effort to help with education efforts to keep kids away from dangerous substances.

During a brief gathering in recent weeks, officials from several agencies, Polk Against Drugs and educators came together to turn over the bus to Polk Against Drug’s committee from the Drug Prevention and Education committee.

The organization sought the bus out to turn into a mobile classroom to offer Polk County’s youth a look at how wrong choices can lead them to ruin.

“Our plan is to fix up the bus and then travel to our schools,” Karen Nissen, a member of the Drug Prevention and Education committee, said. “For now, we’re looking at the middle schools and maybe in the future going to the high schools.”

Polk School District voted earlier in August to turn over one of two buses that were left of a number cycled out of the fleet and sold as surplus items. The bus for now will

They look to model changes to the bus after an already existing program, but keep it narrowly focused toward Polk Against Drug’s main mission of ending the sale and use of illegal substances throughout the community.

“We’re going to pattern it somewhat after the Choice Bus,” Nissen said. “It talks about making good choices, not necessarily about drugs and alcohol. Ours is going to simply be about drug education.”

Nissen said they’ll pattern Polk Against Drug’s education program around a presentation, a video, question and answer and even have a mock jail cell to give students an idea of what it’s like to be behind bars.

The Choice Bus — developed and driven around to schools by the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation — has been to Polk County before and is making a return trip here in the days ahead.

“We’re going to observe their bus while they are here,” Nissen said.

Nissen said their organization is going to need help if they are to get their version of The Choice Bus up and running. Among the areas that they’ll need assistance is in remodeling of the bus’s interior for their purposes, development of education materials like a video to present to youth.

She added that it is some ways off before they get to the conversion stage as initial organizing efforts are still underway, but volunteer help will be needed to convert the bus.

If anyone wants to help in the planning and organization phase, they can contact Nissen for more information at knissen@aol.com.

“We’re a relatively small committee at the moment, and if anyone wants to help they can contact us and we’ll bring them on as a member,” Nissen said.

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